Collections

The SA Maritime Museum preserves the oldest nautical collection in Australia. In 1872 the Port Adelaide Institute began a museum collection to complement its library and its educational and social programs. That collection grew over the following century reflecting the seafarers and the ships that visited Port Adelaide. It is now held in trust at the SA Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum’s collection ranges from the Port Adelaide Lighthouse that was first lit in 1869 to a plaque that explorer Matthew Flinders left at Memory Cove in 1802 to mark the loss to eight seafarers. It includes figureheads, nautical instruments, bathing costumes, shipwreck artefacts, paintings, models and vessels.

Our scope is the maritime heritage of South Australia from the coast to inland waters. The collection of over almost 20,000 objects and over 20,000 images is at once a window to the heritage of the local community and to the ships of the world..

Albert 'Scug' Cutlers splicing set

Splicing set belonging to ketch hand and captain, Albert 'Scug' Cutler. Splicing sets were used by ketch crews to repair sails and ropes. A deck knife and fid were used to cut and weave or 'splice' separate strands of rope together.

New sails were made on shore at a sailmakers business but ketch crews were responsible for maintaining sails at sea. Ketch workers would sit in the sun mending the sails while waiting for the tide to change. Many ketches were identified at sea by the patchwork of their mended sails rather than by their nameplates. Albert 'Scug' Cutler enjoyed a long career on South Australia's ketches crewing the Leillateah and Stormbird and skippering the Nelcebee, now owned by the Museum.

Associated locations: Port Adelaide 

 

Caption: Splicing Set

AccessionNo: HT2005907a(m)

Width: 60

Height: 265

Material: Leather, wood, steel

Date Created: c1940

Physical Description:
NOTE: new line converted to ';' to save space. Splicing set featuring leather pouch and knife. A = leather pouch with slot to fit on belt. The pouch holds a deck knife (B) and a steel wire splicing spike ©.; Set belonged to coastal seafarer Albert ('Skug') Cutter, skipper of the ketches LEILLATEAH and NELCEBEE (died 15/1/1992). Cutter was the last skipper of the NELCEBEE and was well known on the wharves and docks of Port Adelaide. His family also donated a sailmaker's kit, tools and other material. See HT94.8556a-b(m). The LEILLATEAH was built in Tasmania in 1891 and was completely rebuilt as the MILFORD CROUCH in 1957. NELCEBEE was built in 1893 and remains with the South Australian Maritime Museum collection. Ketches were integral to South Australia's maritime history and were the workhorses of the sea. They traded to almost all regional ports as were suited to shallow and tidal waters.; *See ketch exhibitions and research files.; *See ship files for information on the LEILLATEAH and NELCEBEE.

Provenance:
Splicing set featuring leather pouch and knife. A = leather pouch with slot to fit on belt. The pouch holds a deck knife (B) and a steel wire splicing spike ©. Set belonged to coastal seafarer Albert ('Skug') Cutter, skipper of the ketches LEILLATEAH and NELCEBEE (died 15/1/1992). Cutter was the last skipper of the NELCEBEE and was well known on the wharves and docks of Port Adelaide. His family also donated a sailmaker's kit, tools and other material. See HT94.8556a-b(m). The LEILLATEAH was built in Tasmania in 1891 and was completely rebuilt as the MILFORD CROUCH in 1957. NELCEBEE was built in 1893 and remains with the South Australian Maritime Museum collection. Ketches were integral to South Australia's maritime history and were the workhorses of the sea. They traded to almost all regional ports as were suited to shallow and tidal waters. *See ketch exhibitions and research files. *See ship files for information on the LEILLATEAH and NELCEBEE.