Since 1973, the NAA has been a significant publisher of books on topics of
unique importance to Australasian shipping. The books are available for
purchase by anyone, whether or not they are a subscriber to the NAA journal,
*NEW* published April 2021
Scottish House: A History of McIlwraith, McEacharn
T.S. Stevens and H.W. Dick
In the mid-20th century the magnificent passenger liners Karoola,
Katoomba and Kanimbla put McIlwraith, McEacharn at the forefront
of Australia’s coastal shipping. The company had begun in London in the 1870s
with a fleet of sailing ships carrying migrants to Queensland before venturing
into ocean-going steamships, then during the 1890s gold rushes moving into the
passenger and cargo trade from Sydney and Melbourne to Western Australia.
Through two world wars its fleet served the nation as troopships, a hospital
ship, an armed merchant cruiser and a landing ship while also maintaining vital
Coinciding with delivery of the pioneer container ship Kooringa, in 1964, the
company merged its shipping interests with those of Adelaide Steamship to form
Associated Steamships, but McIlwraith McEacharn remained active in towage,
agency, ship management and coal mining until taken over in 1993. This
definitive history by former senior manager Tom Stevens and business historian
Howard Dick interweaves the stories of its business, ships and people through
war and peace. The book also reveals the complicated politics of the coastal
shipping industry, its importance to Australia’s economic development, and the
reasons for its eventual decline in the face of competition from airlines,
railways and road transport.
Price to Australian addresses: $65 incl. P&P (Log subscribers)
or $69.90 (non-subscribers).
Price to New Zealand addresses: AU$80 incl. P&P (Log subscribers)
or $85 (non-subscribers).
Other countries: AU$105.
Purchase Tambar (A Lucky Ship) with your purchase of ANL for an extra $8.
Published February 2020
ANL: A Fleet History of the Australian National Line 1957-1999
Howard Dick, Iain Steverson, Mike Carolin, Barry Pemberton, Lindsay Rex,
Rex Cox, Russell Priest
Australian National Line (ANL) began operations on 1 January 1957. It operated
the largest fleet in coastal trade, ran passenger ships such as Princess of
Tasmania and Empress of Australia that became household names, and from 1969
carried the Australian flag into international trades. ANL was at the forefront
of innovation in bulkships, RoRo vessels and containerization, also in the
redesign of ports and terminals. Many of its 110 ships were built in Australia.
This impressive record of achievement eventually became overshadowed by
financial woes, poor industrial relations and a difficult relationship with
government that culminated in the sale of 1998-99. This fleet history, written
and informed by the knowledge, experience and insight of those who sailed on
and worked with the ships, weaves the stories of a complex forty-year
transition from conventional shipping to modern bulk handling and containers,
along with the nation-building role of the ANL, whose flag still flies proudly
across the region as a subsidiary of the French CMA CGM. The book is lavishly
illustrated with over 300 images, mostly in colour, and will become an
essential source on Australia’s 20th century maritime history.
A4, hardcover, 349pp, 300 illustrations, index, flags, funnels, hull
colours, bibliography, full ships lists.
Price: $89 incl. P&P mailed to Australian addresses of subscribers to The
Log ($95 for non-subscribers).
Price to New Zealand addresses: AU$99 for subscribers to The Log (AU$105 for
Other countries: AU$130.
Purchase Tambar (A Lucky Ship) with your purchase of ANL for an extra $8.
A Lucky Ship: The Nine Lives of the Australian Coaster Tambar 1912-1960
By Craig Mair
This high-quality book 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
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.
17 x 25cm, paperback, 250 pages, Appendices, Bibliography and Indices,
extensively illustrated, published 2013.
Price $14.90 incl. P&P to subscribers to The Log ($19.90 to non-subscribers).
Australia addresses only. For post to New Zealand addresses add AU$15.
IN CORAL SEAS: The History of the New Guinea Australia Line
Based on the manuscript by Martin Speyer
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, published in conjunction with John
Swire & Sons China Navigation Company.
Price: $15 including P&P to subscribers to The Log ($20 to
non-subscribers). Australia only. For post to New Zealand addresses add $10.
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
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.
Price: $7.00 incl. P&P to subscribers to The Log ($10 to non-subscribers).
Australia only. For post to New Zealand addresses add $5.
Secondhand NAA Books
Beancaker to Boxboat
By H.W. Dick and S.A. Kentwell
A history from the mid-nineteenth century of shipping in Chinese waters, mostly
dominated by Western steamship companies until the rise of Communist China.
This book encompasses the histories of the main sailing companies, foreign and
Chinese, which had their origins on the China coast before 1949. The firms
covered are mainly British but include the Japanese-flag Nisshin Kisen, the
Chinese-flag CMSNC and the C.Y.Tung group. The book documents the fleets of
these companies by presenting the career of each ship from construction to
ultimate fate, with details of all owners, changes of name, and major incidents
Published 1988. Hardback with dust jacket. Illustrated with black and white
Several copies are available and are in good condition with original dust
jackets. Price: $70 incl. P&P (or $65 if ordered with Sold East).
Australian addresses only. Enquire about postal cost for delivery to
Sold East — Traders, Tramps and Tugs of Chinese Waters
By H.W. Dick and S.A. Kentwell
The sequel to Beancaker to Boxboat. Many cargo liners and tramps from
Britain and Europe and most coasters from Australia and New Zealand were
eventually 'sold east' to begin a second career for owners based in Shanghai
(until 1949) or Hong Kong. Typically they joined the fleets of trampship owners
such as Mollers, Wallems, Williamsons, Manners, or Wheelock Marden, firms less
prominent than the liner operators such as Jardines or Swires but playing no
less essential a role in the shipping of the Far East. Yet their colourful
history is little known and already fading from memory. Here their principals
stand out as men larger than life, supreme opportunists in a long unstable part
of the world. Includes shipping lists and funnels and house flags.
Published 1991. Hardcover with dust jacket. Illustrated with black and white
Several copies are available and most are in good condition with original dust
jackets. Price: $70 incl. P&P (or $65 if ordered with Beancaker to
Boxboat). Australian addresses only. Enquire about postal cost for delivery
to non-Australian addresses.
Details about payments for all books are on the Order Form. Payments are in
NAA Books Now Out of Print
The following titles are out of print and are no longer available from the NAA.
They may be available from secondhand sources and titles are often available online.
- Compendium of Australasian Ships 1831-2008 by Robert (Bob)
Tompkins. Published 2008. A listing of approximately 7500 Australian, New
Zealand and South Pacific powered merchant ships over 45 feet in length with a
description, ownership and history of each.
- Huddart Parker: A Famous Australasian Shipping Company, 1876-1961 by
W.A Laxon (completed by H.W. Dick, I.J. Farquhar, and T.S Stevens). Published
2008. A famous interstate shipping line and the only one to maintain a
passenger line to New Zealand. A multi-faceted industrial enterprise that dated
from soon after the gold rush. 235 pages, paperback, over 130 illustrations and
includes a detailed fleet list.
- Howard Smith Shipping: Enterprise and Diversity,1854-2001 by Ian
Farquhar (2002) - a chronology of the company, the directors, financial
details, and a comprehensive list of all cargo and passenger vessels, hulks,
lighters and managed tonnage.
- STRAITSMAN: Lifeline to an Island by Neil Pollard (2007) traces the
ship's history from the planning stages through to her new life in Fiji.
- Australian Merchant ships - 2008 by Malcolm Dippy and Tony Starke. A
colour illustrated reference to Australian merchant ships as of 2008.
- Australian Merchant Ships 2005 by Malcolm Dippy and Tony Starke. A
quick reference to the particulars of the merchant ships of Australia as of
- The Main Line Fleet of Burns Philp by Bruce Wilkinson & Ross Willson
(1981). An important record of all ships of pioneering Australian company Burns
- Far Eastern Fleets by Howard Dick & Stephen Kentwell (1973). The
authors’ first catalogue of the fleets of some of the major Hong Kong and
Shanghai-based shipping companies and their Australia/NZ connections.