P.S. Melbourne Mug
P.S. Melbourne features one of the original paddles steams moving along the Murray River and was photographed on the 13th of December 2011 by Sketchart26 herself whilst on a holiday with friends and family in Mildura. The photograph was taken looking down on it from the George Chaffey Bridge. P.S. Melbourne Paddle Steamer was launched at Koondrook on the Murray River back in 1912. Originally built for the Victorian Government as a working boat the P.S. Melbourne was fitted with a huge winch for hauling in trees that had fallen along with snags from the river ensuring the channel was always open for paddles steamers. It also was used to assist with bridges, weirs and lock constructions. Evans Brothers Timbers Mills from Echuca later purchased the PS Melbourne and used it for logging until road transportation become more viable. The PS Melbourne was moored against the river for ages until it was repurchased by Captain Alby Pointon and his wife Freda in 1965. Repairs were done on the boiler and hull and were finally relit for the first time in 23 years, ready for its long journey from Echuca to Mildura. When she arrived in Mildura Captain Pointon carefully restored the key elements of the PS Melbourne and made the work boat a passenger carrier. Her maiden voyage was on the 1st of January 1996 departing from the Mildura Wharf. The PS Melbourne is 98 feet long, 21 feet wide at the waterline and 40 feet across the top of the paddle and is licensed to carry 300 passengers. She has a very flat bottom and as a result a very shallow draught. The stern is 3 feet whilst the bow is 2 feet, 6 inches. This means that the PS Melbourne can float safely and operate fully laden in less than 4 feet of water. Marshell engineering Company in England built the old steam engine. It’s boiler is referred to as a Loco type and has a steam pressure of 150lbs and fired by wood. This then turns the twin cylinder compound engine, with a normal cruising speed of roughly 60 turns per minute or 130 rpm her maximum speed of 11 miles per hour. There were 250 Paddle steamers built and ran on the Murray, but the PS Melbourne is one of the original paddle steamers left on the river for passengers today and is still being operated by its original steam engine. The PS Melbourne attracts people from all around the world and departs twice a day from the Mildura Wharf. A unique feature of most cruises is being able to travel downstream through Lock 11, which was designed to bypass the weir across the river. As a result passengers are able to experience the how Locks work as PS Melbourne is lowered to the downstream level and raised again when returning. During a cruise passengers receive a comprehensive live commentary of the river and its history. They can also see the engineer fire the boiler and enjoy the old engine. PS Melbourne has continuously operated in Mildura for the past 40 years and won the Victorian Tourism award in 1990. It is still owned and operated by Pointon today.