Model of steam trawler 'P.J.2 Koraaga', glass / wood / metal / string, designed and made by Smith's Dock Co Ltd, England, c. 1915
Many of the ships that scale models illustrate were integral to the economic development of New South Wales and Australia. The model of the 'Koraaga' is highly significant in being representative of the beginnings of the steam trawling industry in New South Wales. The 'Koraaga' was one of the three steam trawlers brought to Sydney from Great Britain in 1915 that initially started the offshore fishing industry in New South Wales.
Around 1907 the Technological Museum, (an earlier name for the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences) actively sought shipping models for a new section they wished to install on Naval Architecture. Models such as these were initially acquired for their educational value in outlining the development of ship building in Australia after the arrival of Europeans. Some of these models have unique design features while others are famous for their activities in Australian and International waters. The model of the 'Koraaga' represents the contribution of Government to the war effort. The 'Koraaga' was requisitioned for mine sweeping duties off Gabo Island, Victoria in 1917.
The models remain important objects for illustrating Australian shipping history. They represent a scale sized representation of vessels that may not have survived. Their size also makes the display and comparison of their features much easier than the full sized vessel. The 'Koraaga' was wrecked in 1931, thus this model is significant in being the only representation of the vessel.
Ship builders sometimes made models of the boats they built and by the second half of the nineteenth century many shipyards had their own model shops to produce builder's models. By the late 1900s commercial model makers were more prevalent, producing model ships, engines and railways. Shipping companies used models in their offices to demonstrate the features of vessels in their service and as an advertising tool for their routes they operated. The model of the 'Koraaga' was presented to the Museum by the Department of Fisheries following the end of the vessel's service as part of the State Trawling Industry. The model is significant in demonstrating the technique of trawling.
This is a model of the ss 'Koraaga'. The model was acquired by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in 1924. Contemporary correspondence states the model was made in England and sent out to Australia at the time the trawling industry was first established. (Correspondence from the State Fisheries Department to the Curator Technological Museum 07/01/1924). This suggests the model was made c. 1915.
The ss 'Koraaga' was designed and made by Smith's Dock Co Ltd in Middlesbrough on Tees, England in 1915. The vessel was registered in Sydney 1923, 26/1923. (Official no 151 981)
Length: 114.6 ft
Gross tonnage: 221
Net tonnage: 80
The model of the steam trawler 'Koraaga' was donated by the Department of Fisheries in 1924.
Prior to World War I estuary based fishing dominated the New South Wales catch. In 1914 the Holman Government set up a publicly owned company called the State Trawling Industry to encourage the development of off-shore fishing and to supply Sydney and Newcastle with large quantities of cheap fish. The Manager, David Stead was sent to Great Britain to examine steam trawling methods and acquire the necessary ships and crews. Three steam trawlers were imported, the 'Brolga' arriving April 21 1915, the 'Koraaga' arriving April 27 and the the 'Gunundal on May 18, 1915. They three vessels were be based in Sydney. Related correspondence states the model of the 'Koraaga' was made in England and sent out to Australia at the time the trawling industry was first established. (Correspondence from the State Fisheries Department to the Curator Technological Museum 07/01/1924).
Trawling operations began in June 1915. In 1916 the Government expanded its fishing operations and placed an order for three more trawlers with the State Dockyard in Newcastle. The Government also established an integrated fishing and marketing system, with the new company opening four retail outlets in Sydney by 1916. By 1922 this network had grown to 20 outlets, 14 of which were in the Sydney area.
The steam trawlers 'Koraaga' and 'Gunundaal' were requisitioned from the New South Wales Government on October 8 1917 and manned by the Royal Australian Naval Brigade. They were employed in sweeping for mines off Gabo Island, Victoria believed to have been laid by the German raider 'Wolf'. The sweeping operations were directed by Lieutenant-Commander F J Ranken RNR. One mine was found on October 9 1917 and another, three days later. Sweeping continued for nearly three months, during which time they were joined by the trawler 'Brolga' and the tug 'Cecil Rhodes'. By January 3 1918 a total of thirteen mines had been found, but no more were discovered in the following five weeks and the sweep was abandoned on February 12 1918. The 'Koraaga' was returned to its trawling operations.
By 1920 due to consistently large financial losses arising from State Trawling Industry operations, management was replaced and a major cost cutting program was begun. In 1923 the Fuller Government sold off the operation which had a running loss of over 180 000 pounds. The steam trawlers were sold to private companies.
By 1930 the New South Wales trawling industry was concentrated into three main companies, Coastal Trawling Limited, which was soon joined in a merger with Red Funnel Trawlers; Cam and Sons and A A Murrell.
The 'Koraaga' was lost 5 nm east of Gerringong, Black Head, NSW on September 9 1931.