William the Fourth

William the Fourth

The replica of William the Fourth was built on the banks of the Williams River, Raymond Terrace from 1985 to 1987 and was launched by Hazel Hawke on the 26th September 1987.

Great photos in Gallery by NIHA member Steve.

William the Fourth The original William the Fourth was the first steam powered ocean-going vessel built in Australia - in 1831 - built at Clarencetown. The replica paddlewheel steamship William the Fourth was constructed at Raymond Terrace in 1987 as a regional Bi-centenary project. The replica operated for 14 years on Newcastle Harbour using the steam engine and side paddles, which provided limitations in a modern environment. The ship is owned by William the Fourth Inc., a community based organisation that will complete the restoration of the timber structure and install twin 160kw diesel engines with propellers before returning the ship to service in commercial survey. The historic character and significance of the ship make it the perfect vessel to showcase the history and panoramas of the city from the water. The ship will be berthed at Honeysuckle adjacent to and complementing the new Maritime Centre. The restored William the Fourth will become a significant tourist attraction for Newcastle. The ship will have a strong active presence both on the water and at the wharf. It will conduct VIP corporate charters, short stay tourist group charters, special charters to other destinations, (eg Lake Macquarie & Port Stephens), as well as being a shore-side venue for conference catering and special functions. At other times it will open as an alongside exhibition of early steam ship technology in conjunction with the Maritime Centre. An accredited training program will be implemented to provide qualified deck crew to operate the ship. The cost to return the ship to modern operational standards is significant. In addition to funds provided by Newcastle City Council and present valuable offers of assistance, an additional $150,000 is required. This is clearly achievable through a series of targeted fund-raising strategies. The restored ship will be significantly improved in several ways over its previous operations. It will be safer, more reliable, more manoeuvrable, cleaner and much more capable of generating income than previously. As Newcastle continues to grow and become a destination for more visitors, William the Fourth will return to its role as a proud iconic symbol on the harbour of this region’s maritime history and achievements. For more details contact: Bob Cook Secretary William the Fourth Inc. 0419241731 PO Box 2312 Dangar 2309 Email williamthefourth87@gmail.com

William the Fourth, first Australian coastal steamship replica was constructed as a community Bicentenary project.

Its principal dimensions are:

LOA 32.3m (106’)
L (Deck) 26.5m (86’11”)
LBP 24m (78’9”)
B (MLD) 4.8m (15’8”)
B (Extreme)


Depth (MLD) 2.5m (8’2”)
Draught (mean) 1.59m (5’2”)
Wheel Diameter 2.44m (8’)


Displacement (load) 110tonnes
Speed 6 knots in smooth conditions


Engine Specifications:
Two cylinder compound double acting side lever steam engine.
Cylinders 250dia, and 500dia x 750 stroke
1000KPA (150psi) boiler pressure
Nominal 75kW (100HP) at 40RPM
Weight of Engine 8751kg
Boiler scotch wet black 2000-2500 lb/w (150psi)

Newcastle Industrial Heritage Association