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P.S. Grappler
Title : P.S. Grappler P.S. Grappler
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Source : PRG 1258/1/1397
Date of creation : ca. 1862
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

Side view of 'P.S. Grappler', snagging, raising a large hollow tree trunk, with thick smoke pouring from funnel

Designed by Francis Cadell, the Grappler was built specifically to remove snags from the river and was fitted with a crane able to lift 14 to 15 tons, or logs four to five feet in diameter. It was owned by the South Australian government but was built in Echuca. It was launched 1 February 1858, and the first trials were conducted in April. Grappler operated for a number of years but by 1878 the vessel had been equipped as a police station and placed at Morgan until October 1879. Subsequently returned to Goolwa, Grappler was converted to a dredge and worked in the Goolwa Channel and Milang areas of the river.

Snags are the remains of trees in the river, trees that have either been flushed downstream during floods and become stranded, or trees that have toppled into the river from the adjacent bank. With their branches and roots largely underwater they create an enormous hazard in the water. The first snag boat on the River Murray was the Grappler in 1858.

Region : Riverland and Murraylands
Further reading :

Parsons, Ronald Ships of the inland rivers: an outline history and details of all known paddle ships, barges and other vessels trading on the Murray-Darling system Ridgehaven, S. Aust.: Gould Books, 1990

Christopher, Peter Paddlesteamers and riverboats of the River Murray [Stepney, S.Aust.]: Axiom , 2000

Kenderdine, Sarah Historic shipping on the River Murray Adelaide: State Heritage Branch, Dept. of Environment and Land Management, 1995

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