Our August club night was held online, in Zoom, and featured a presentation by WBA member Roderick Smith, showing some of his great photos of paddle boats on the Murray and Darling Rivers.

The August WBA club night was a COVID compliant night streamed on zoom, attended by 20 or so members. If there is a bright side to a computer-based meeting, it beats going out on a cold night in the middle of a Melbourne winter. There was a few requests for supper, which required a bit of organising by the committee.

Our speaker, Roderick Smith, has long experience travelling the Murray River in his own boat, Jessie Ⅱ,  a Bolger Tennessee, in my opinion, (because of its low draft, size and speed while driven by fairly small outboard motor) one of the best boats to travel the Murray.  During Roderick’s travels he had obviously closely looked over the classic boats on the river.

Roderick shared his many photos of the various steam powered paddleboats followed by some of those which are diesel power. He talked of the various histories of the individual boats and gave details of where they operated and what type of machinery they have.

Many of the paddleboats are very old with some being resurrected from a wrecked state and abandoned when no longer economically viable when they needed to compete with the railways.

You can view Roderick's presentation below.