LOG Indexes
Contact Us
Nautical Association of Australia

NAA Books

Since 1973 the NAA has published a number of books on unique shipping topics, available to subscribers at reduced rates. The books below are recent releases.


Sale Books
When one or more of the books Huddart Parker, In Coral Seas or The Currie Line, are purchased IN CONJUNCTION WITH a copy of A Lucky Ship...Tambar then the cost of the additional books is only: Huddart Parker A$12.00, In Coral Seas A$8.00, and Currie Line A$4.00.

*NEW* A Lucky Ship: The Nine Lives of the Australian Coaster Tambar 1912-1960 - by Craig Mair
Huddart Parker
This latest high-quality book to be published by the NAA is the extraordinary story of an ordinary little ship that had a long and eventful life. Perhaps few Australian coasters have had a more interesting and varied history. Built in Scotland in 1912 for the North Coast Steam Navigation Company, Tambar worked as a lifeline to isolated river and island communities, first in New South Wales, then for the Tasmanian Government and Holymans in Bass Strait (King Island) and as the last steamer serving the Gippsland Lakes. In between she even spent a few years in Papua New Guinea. When World War II broke out, Tambar was commissioned into the RAN as an auxiliary minesweeper, but after the terrible Darwin air raid in 1942 became the first vessel of the newly formed Salvage Board, later assisting in the search for survivors of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Returning to Bass Strait in 1944 for a few more years, she then spent the 1950s on standby as a salvage vessel in Melbourne, working on Merilyn, Terawhiti, E.J. Fairnie, and River Burnett.

Craig Mair grew up in Grangemouth, Scotland where Tambar was built, and became interested after inheriting a builder's model from his father. He has consulted thousands of records, including the ship's logs, tracked down witnesses, and assembled over 100 photographs and maps to give a unique insight into Tambar's story, and coastal Australia in the middle decades of the twentieth century, before roads took over the transport task. Besides many colourful stories of shipwrecks and strandings, strange cargoes, salty characters, exotic places, wartime air raids, and salvage jobs, the book includes a definitive account of the worst Second World War 'friendly fire' incident in Australian waters in Moreton Bay in 1942. A Lucky Ship, 17 x 25cm, with 250 pages, Appendices, Bibliography and Indices, is profusely illustrated, well written and a very good read. Special price to NAA LOG subscribers is A$29.95 (includes P&P in Australia). RRP is A$36.00 to non-subscribers. (Note: see the SALE BOOKS available when purchased in conjunction with a copy of this book).   BOOK ORDER FORM

HUDDART PARKER: A Famous Australasian Shipping Company 1876-1961

Huddart Parker Published November 2008: While writing a history of Huddart Parker, Auckland maritime historian Bill Laxon regrettably became ill and died. His draft script was taken over and completed by three of his friends - Howard Dick, Ian Farquhar and Tom Stevens. The 248-page book is the first definitive history of this important Melbourne-based shipowner. Huddart Parker was not only a famous Australian interstate shipping company but also the only one to maintain a passenger line to New Zealand. Its coastal liners Westralia and Zealandia, trans-Tasman liners Ulimaroa and Wanganella and Bass Strait ferries Nairana and Taroona were all household names.

The company also operated a fleet of interstate cargo ships, tugs at Melbourne and Port Adelaide, and excursion steamers on Port Phillip Bay. Besides shipping, it owned large coal mines, had shareholdings in many other companies, and was a pioneer investor in domestic aviation. This book records the history from the arrival of the founders during the gold rush of the 1850s, through the establishment of the company in 1876 to its takeover and withdrawal from shipping in 1961. There are appendices on the Bay excursion trade, James Huddart's Canadian Australian Royal Mail Line, personalia, shore offices, tugs, collieries and the company's venture into aviation, as well as a detailed fleet list and comprehensive index. It is a soft-cover publication (250 x 176 cm) of 248 pages with 135 illustrations of virtually all the cargo and passenger ships, Bay steamers and tugs. The retail price is A$36.00 but subscribers to THE LOG are offered the book at the special price of A$30.00 (both prices inclusive of postage and packing to any address in Australia).   BOOK ORDER FORM

In Coral Seas

In Coral Seas: the History of the New Guinea Australia Line
Based on the manuscript by Martin Speyer and published in conjunction with John Swire & Sons China Navigation Company. This is the story of the New Guinea Australia Line (Chief Container Service since 1977), one of the largest shipping operations in the South Pacific, with strong links into Asia. The first twenty-five years are covered by the edited memoirs of the late Martin Speyer, who set up the NGAL. The later history and a collection of sea-going memories are presented by former ship's officers, with an illustrated list of the company's ships. Special price to NAA subscribers is now only A$15.00.   BOOK ORDER FORM

Currie Line
The Currie Line of Melbourne
By Bill Laxon, MBE: In the closing years of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, the ships of Archibald Curie & Company made up one of the largest Melbourne-based fleets. It was the only Australian company with a major presence in the trades to India and south-east Asia until 1913, when it was taken over by the large British India Steam Navigation Company Ltd. The book illustrates all of the Currie steamers, as well as providing a fleet list of their sailing ships and steamers. The author, the late Bill Laxon MBE, was an Auckland lawyer and maritime historian specialising in the ships and history of the P&O group companies. Special price to NAA subscribers is now only A$7.00, or A$5.00 with any other book.   BOOK ORDER FORM

Associate of the NAA
An associated NZ organization to the NAA is the New Zealand Ship & Marine Society. They have also published a number of books and a quarterly magazine - see their website. One long-time member of both organizations is the author Ian Farquhar, who has published a number of books for both the NZS&MS and the NAA. One such book is listed below:

Tyser THE TYSER LEGACY: A history of Port Line and its associated companies
By Ian Farquhar: This book is a definitive history of Port Line, one of the four main liner companies in the New Zealand and Australian trades with Britain and the East Coast of North America. Detailed histories of the associated companies, including Montreal Australia and New Zealand Line, Crusader Shipping Company, Compass Line, Atlas Line, Associated Container Transportation (Australia) Ltd and the Pacific Australia Direct Line are all given.

The illustrations include Tyser, Corry, Royden and Milburn vessels plus all the ships owned or time-chartered by Port Line on liner services. There are 216 black and white illustrations and 27 in colour. THE TYSER LEGACY is a hard-back 376 page publication (260 x 190) published by the N.Z. Ship & Marine Society in 2007.

The book is available from: Ian Farquhar, P O Box 1175, Dunedin, 9054, New Zealand.
A$40.00 for Australian addresses NZ$35.00 (New Zealand orders) (inclusive of postage and packing).


NAA Books Now Out of Print

Some early NAA publications are now out of print and available only through second-hand sources, but from time to time the NAA obtains copies of these books in good condition. Contact the Treasurer for availability. Books include:

The NAA was founded in 1968 and is run by volunteers dedicated to recording, researching, preserving and publishing the maritime history of Australia, New Zealand and the South West Pacific. © 2006-2020 Nautical Association of Australia Inc. ABN 18 382 946 943
Design lancewood.net