Heritage Watercraft Collection

Historic Boats Collection

HB Collection


WAM 37


A collection or 'library' of 90 vessels ranging from dugout canoes, through the recreational and commercial vessels, the iconic Australia II, to a 2,000 tonne Oberon-class submarine, illustrating and documenting the range of watercraft used in the history of Western Australia and interaction with our Indian Ocean neighbours.

The focus of the heritage watercraft collection is to highlight the evolution of designs, construction and methods of both craft used within Western Australian waters, and vernacular watercraft developed specifically for the Western Australian context; the varying use of watercraft within Western Australian waters; and watercraft representative of maritime connections with our Indian Ocean neighbours. The watercraft collection is catalogued into: Indian Ocean and Aboriginal (10); commercial (35), service (20), and leisure (35). Major foci of the watercraft collection, include: fishing (whaling, pearling, aquaculture, commercial and recreational fishing, multicultural communities); and design, construction and evolution of ship and boatbuilding. The collection particularly seeks to demonstrate the varied multicultural influences that have shaped contemporary Western Australian maritime context.

Some material may be subject to copyright.

Viewable in exhibitions at WA Maritime Museum, WA Museum in Perth, Albany and Geraldton. Collection storage areas may be accessed by prior appointment.

Item descriptions, specifications, images, conservation & location history available through the WA Museum Maritime History Department's Research and Integrated Collection Management System.


19th, 20th and 21st Centuries; Competitve sailing; Fishing; Recreational saling; Vernacular watercraft; Watercraft; Yacht racing

Boats; Maritime history; Ships; Submarines; Water transport

Ships; Watercraft

Vessels (watercraft)

Coverage Spatial

Western Australia; International; Indian Ocean

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


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2011-03-31 00:17