Messing about in boats

150 Years of Sail

In 1869, seven amateurs met in a Port Adelaide pub to establish the South Australian Yacht Club.  They held their first race on New Year ’s Day 1870 and built a tin shed in the swamps of Outer Harbor to serve as their clubroom several decades later.  The Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron is still growing.

It was also 150 years ago that Alexander McFarlane built his boatyard, bringing to Port Adelaide a heritage  that was forged on Scotland’s River Clyde.  Others joined him, jostling for space along the Inner Harbor and carving out a community that shared traditions and tools.

One hundred years ago, Falie was launched. It was bought by a group of South Australian farmers and worked the coast until 1982.  It was one of Australia’s last sail traders, lightering grain to windjammers and later carting fuel and gypsum. Portraits by photographer Annette Willis highlight the personal stories and precious mementos of seafarers and boat builders connected to our Port’s long history of messing about in boats.

The exhibition will open at the South Australian Maritime Museum on 22 May 2019 and closes on 10 November. 

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The South Australian Maritime Museum and History Trust of South Australia acknowledges the First Nations peoples of South Australia, whose connection to country and living cultures began in time immemorial and continues to the present. We affirm our commitment to advancing reconciliation.