Grafton Rowing Club History: Early Shipping 2
Australian Rowing Professional
Flooding Grafton
Early Shipping on the Clarence

Early Shipping 2 - "William the Fourth" (The "Billy")

So began an age of steamers visiting the North Coast - hundreds of steamers serviced the area during the following 110 years. One of the earliest steamers to regularly travel the coast was the "William the Fourth", commonly known as "Billy".

"William the Fourth" ("Billy")

Recognised as the first successful Australian-built steamer, the "Billy" was actually quite small at 24 metres (80 feet) and was underpowered, never making better than 8 knots. Even so, she still saw service for thirty years, sailing to ports between Grafton and Eden (she had a regular fortnightly run from Grafton to Sydney from 1857 to 1860 when owned by the Grafton Steam Navigation Co.) but was too small and too slow to meet  the ever-increasing need for North Coast transport.

Early Shipping - Page 3