The Register of Australian and New Zealand Ships and Boats


About the register

Sample page

Seek information

Send information

Help Wanted

Builder lists


Send email


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Associated pages:

Mori's webpages

Kham's webpages

Martin's webpages


The register of Australian and New Zealand vessels is a private project being undertaken as a hobby. It arose through the research work undertaken for the restoration of the tug Waratah and barque James Craig in the 1970s and 1980s. Information was being uncovered on other vessels for which there was no central repository. Lists and card records were drawn up in those earlier years including a card-based Register of Historic Vessels administered by the Sydney Maritime Museum. This electronic register commenced in 2000. There are currently more than 61,000 vessels recorded.


To record the history, details, references and existent material of all significant Australian and New Zealand ships and boats to:

  1. record the maritime history of the region and further maritime research in Australia and New Zealand;

  2. provide an incentive for people to restore and preserve their historic boat and to recognise their efforts;

  3. record the achievements of Australian and New Zealand ship and boat builders and designers;

  4. provide a resource for persons undertaking genealogy connected with the maritime history of Australia and New Zealand;

  5. determine the identity of vessels in photographs and artworks that are not currently identified; and

  6. provide a resource for wreck archeologists and divers.

Scope of the register

Criteria for vessels to be included on the register are: 

  • Pre 1983: The vessel was owned in Australia or New Zealand prior to 1983 except for :

a)     vessels of 18’ (5.5 metres) or less, or

b)     vessels not having a distinguishing name or number.


  • The vessel was listed on the British Australian or New Zealand Register (up to 1983)
  • The vessel was or is listed on the Australian Register of Ships or is owned in Australia or New Zealand except for fishing and recreational vessels of length less than 46 feet (14 metres).
  • Any vessel of special interest because of its unique construction, history, etc that can be readily identified.
  • Vessels prior to 1900 that were the property of Great Britain but which were stationed in Australia or New Zealand on a permanent or long-term basis.

The scope of the register includes vessels imported into the colonies built as early as 1750 and vessels built in the earliest days of the Australian colonies.

Each record on the register contains up to 42 fields of information. There is provision for a photograph on the register.


Access to the register is currently by correspondence regarding the individual vessels via the "Seek Information" web-page or through direct email. There are also specific lists such as lists of ship and boat builders of NSW or Tasmania, stories of individual boats and links to various useful web sites and discussion forums.

Enquiries and contributions to the register are very welcome. Interested persons should contact me directly if they seek information, and of course, all contributions of information, photos, etc would be gratefully received.

Just use the Seek information or Send information buttons or email me directly at

Sources of information

The register has been compiled using information from primary, secondary and tertiary sources that include:

a) information contributed by vessel owners both past and present;

b) contemporary newspapers;

c) books;

d) photographs and artworks;

e) the British Australian register, Lloyds register and other registers;

f) sightings and boat festivals;

g) museum exhibits;

h) government archives.

A list of references can be viewed at REFERENCES