Date of creation



iron, steel, wood, plywood

Collection Name

ID/Accession No



Thank you ,, I found your pages ,, looking for R fricker...
I remember when farming moved from bagged wheat and barley to bulk handling in 1960. The Nelcebee was at Cowell and provided a joy ride for locals out to the Franklin Harbour entrance and back to the jetty. I was about 5 years of age and went on that also serviced many coastal towns in South Australia and there is even a street named after it in Port Broughton.Another ketch I recall was the Milford Crouch which capsized and sank near Cowell in October 1959. I believe there was only one survivor.see web site:,4724381It brings many memories.

Nelcebee's steam engines were built in Glasgow by William King and Co, not locally as stated in the article. They were put on board at McLaren wharf the week after her launching.

I have just found out that my grandfather that I never knew worked on and even was the skipper of this ship....

if anone can help or add anything please let me know as I am interested in my family history 

Peter, I was the last crewman to sign off the Nelcebee in 1982. I have an extensive history archive of the vessel, and I remember my skipper talking about your Grandfather quite a lot. My email address is'; // --> if you want to contact me. Cheers, Chris Frizell.

I was part of a group of apprentices who worked on this old girl back in 1992 before the program was axed by the later incoming government. I worked on it for 6 months & it took another 2 years before it was almost finished. I'd heard that she was to be scrapped if a tender didn't come along but I can't find anything about it for recent years.

Hi Michael

Lovely to hear from you.  The old girl still lives. Nelcebee is now on dry dock outside our Shed 13 precinct on the Port River. 

cheers, Lindl.

I appreciate your comment Michael; the apprentices did good work. I can assure you that Nelcebee is not to be scrapped. It is a very important part of South Australia's history and the SA Maritime Museum's collection. You may be interested to listen to the oral histories we recorded and now present on this website. We have just fitted new hatch covers and renewed the tarpaulins over the wheelhouse and boat deck to keep it watertight.

Hi - what is intended for the Nelceebee? Has any thought been given to refitting and putting her back into harness? Cheers.

Hi there, I worked on the Nelcebee as a crew man as well as two other ketches. If you need any assistance in gathering information please contact me. Facebook name Gordy Ross

Cheers and God Bless


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