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|The barque James Craig leaving Sydney with
Sydney North Head in the background.
Oil on Canvas (1024 x 800)mm
The iron barque James Craig is fully restored and able to sail. Her home is now Darling Harbour, Sydney. She was launched as the Clan Macleod in 1874 at the yard of R.Bartram and G.Haswell of Sunderland. Her measurements were as follows: 671 g.tons, 646 n.tons, length 179.8 ft., breadth 30.3 ft., depth 17.5 ft.
Until 1886 her voyages took her to the East, including Japan, South and North America and one voyage to New Zealand and one to Australia. In 1886 she was sold to a shipbuilding company in Glasgow, probably as part payment for another ship. She was almost immediately sold on to a Sir Roderick Cameron, of Glasgow who ran her in the New York to New Zealand and Australian trade.
In 1900, on a return passage to New York she was purchased by J.J.Craig of Auckland for employment in the trans-Tasman trade. In 1905, to conform with other Craig Line vessels, her name was changed to the James Craig. When launched as the Clan Macleod she was painted black, as she is now. At some time she was re-painted white until 1905 when she was painted in the Craig Line style with painted ports.
The James Craig was one of the first of the Craig Line sailing vessels to be sold to be replaced by steamships. In Sydney during in May 1911, she was sold to the British New Guinea Development Company and the port of registry changed to Sydney. Loading at Newcastle N.S.W. she sailed to Port Moresby where she was stripped down and converted into a storage hulk.
In 1918, with a shortage of shipping at the end of W.W.I, she was bought by H.Jones & Co. of Hobart, Tasmania and put back in commission. She was extensively overhauled in Sydney, then, in April 1919, towed to Newcastle to load coal for Hobart. However, on the voyage it was found that the hull was not seaworthy, and near foundering she put into Sydney. Repairs were completed by the end of June and she then completed the voyage to Hobart.
In 1922, in Recherche Bay in Tasmania, she waited for a cargo which never was found and she was virtually abandoned. In November 1925 she was bought by a mining company and once more cut down to a hulk. After the mine closed down in the early 1930's she broke her cables and drove ashore. So that she could not float off and cause a hazard to shipping, a large hole was blown in her stern and she settled on the bottom.
There she lay for 40 years. Signs of interest by the San Francisco Maritime Musem in raising her, alerted the Australians and a group known as the Lady Hopetoun and Port Jackson Marine Steam Museum carried out a survey in 1972. So began a saga of recovery which ended in her February 2001 when the James Craig once more spread her canvas in the waters of Sydney Harbour.
Print are available.