Looking for a stylish model that you can include as part of your décor? Then why not include the Hero tugboat?
This is one of our most beloved military models, capturing the importance of a very important piece of naval history. The Hero tugboat was noted for being able to handle as much as 156 days of sailing on its maiden voyage. For many, it is regarded as a legend within the naval world. Now, you could own a special recreation of this most famous tugboat all for yourself!
The Hero tugboat is regarded as one of the most important tugs of its era. The boat was built by J. Fenwick & Co of Sydney, and was developed by J.P Rennoldson in South Shields, England. The plan was simple – in August 1891, a boat was built to be 105ft long and 160 tonnes in weight. Powered using an 800HP steam engine, the vessel – which was finished in June 1892 – was to be used for various purposes back in Australia.
The tug was sailed to Sydney, with a fitting designed to make it a topsail schooner using two masts and sails. Cpt George Forrest took the Hero through several see trials before it set off to Australia. A crew of eight took the ship from South Shields in July 1892, setting off for Australia. However, a late-August encounter with challenging southerly winds left the Hero caught within the doldrums near the equator.
To pass the time, the crew took part in factors including swimming (until they were beset by sharks), painting the ship green, and simply waiting for the sails to be picked up once again. Rough seas became a common foe during their trip to the Cape of Good Hope. Despite salt water getting into the engine room, the Hero was able to continue to overcome the elements and keep the crew en route to their destination. It was taken to Table Bay by Forrest and co. to be replenished and looked after, before setting sail for the Agulhas Banks.
More challenging waters awaited as the ship make its way through Cape Banks to Sydney Harbour. Bad weather meant that the only clear approach for much of the entire journey was when they reached Sydney itself. In total, the Hero was sailing for 156 days after leaving England. It was turned from a schooner into a steam tug when it arrived in Sydney, and was put to use for the intended purpose.
It became a vital tool for inspecting and helping other ships, including the likes of the James Craig. Alongside other Fenwick tugs like the Heroine and Heroic, the Hero was continually used until a tragedy brought to an end of decades of service. Throughout its rich history, the Hero tugboat was used well into the 1930s as a top class vehicle for saving other ships that had fallen into hardship on the challenging seas of Oceania.