Built 1874 at Echuca by G.Linklater. She measured 92' 2''x 17' X6' 5''. She was used as a tow boat as she had very little capacity space, working for a number of riverboat firms towing barges laiden with wool or logs for the local sawmill.

In 1957 the Hero was used to transport a barge load of cattle to higher ground due to flooding. After completing the job her crew left her while the engines were still hot. She caught fire and sank at Boundary Bend (near Swan Hill).


She was purchased by Gary Byford in 1986 with him removing the engines and boiler. Several attempts were made to refloat the vessel were not a succes. Using water jets to shoot straps under the sunken vessel the boat was raised and cleaned out. She was towed upstream by P.V.Mosquito (Mildura) and placed on a truck by 3 cranes. She was transported to the Port of Echuca timber yard where she was restored by a group of men lead by Kevin Hutchinson.

On the 15 September she was placed in the river and towed over to the Moama slipway as she could not be transported by truck due its weight. She was officialy launched on the 16 of September 2000 at 4:30pm to the hour of which she was first launched back in 1874. She was towed to the wetdock by P.S.Adelaide where she fitted out with decking and cabins over the next 2 years. She is fitted with and olde worlde style galley, Kitchen and Dinning room seating up to 20 passengers and sleeping cabins and wheel house upstairs. She may be fitted with a tow post but Gary is unsure due to the length of the cabins.



On the 9 of November 2002 an A frame was placed over the boiler hold where it is used to place the boiler in. The ash pit was successfuly placed in the hold. The boiler was next to be placed in. The crane lowered the boiler to the A frame. The front of the boiler was then connected to the A frame from the crane. As the crane started to take the weight off the A frame started to bend. The boiler was quickly unhooked of the A frame and placed back onto the truck. The a frame is to be strengthen and the boiler placed in the next day. Hope to have photo's and more news coming soon.

Michael Snell
This article is © Copyright Michael Snell, All Rights Reserved. The photos are © Copyright Paul Pavlinovich.