NZ Historic Ships
A database of historic New Zealand Ships and Boats

Edwin Fox
1853 by William Henry Foster, Sulkeali, Bengal, India
Original owners
Thomas Reeves
Present owners
Edwin Fox Restoration Society, Picton
Sail, full rigged ship
747 gross, 836 registered
L 144.8ft/44.14m; B 29.8ft/9.08m; D 20ft/m.
Wood throughout
Original use
Present use
Awaiting restoration as a museum
Contact Details
Contact name
Edwin Fox Society Inc., Dunbar Wharf, Picton
Web site

+64 (0)3 573 6868
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Built by native shipwrights at Sulkeali, Bengal, the Edwin Fox spent most of the 1850's as a British troopship, first in the Crimean War, and later in the Indian Mutiny of 1858. She was then employed carrying emigrants between the British Isles and Australia and New Zealand. On one voyage her passengers were convicts being deported to the Antipodes, making her the last surviving vessel to have participated in this trade. In 1885 she arrived in Port Chalmers, NZ, from London fully fitted out as a floating freezer plant for meat. Reduced to a hulk, she was employed as a freezing plant at several NZ ports, the last being Picton at the north of the South Island. In 1900 she was converted to a coal storage hulk there when a new freezing plant was built on shore. She was employed in this capacity until the 1950s. After retirement her hull was towed into Shakespeare Bay near Picton and beached there. Her interior was open to the weather but her lower hull, largely sheathed in layers of planking and copper sheathing, survived well. Beginning in the 1960s, there were several efforts to rescue the ship and preserve her. None were successful until 1986 when she was finally refloated and moved to a berth near the centre of Picton. Edwin Fox has now been thoroughly recorded by a team of archaeologists, and she was moved into a purpose-built drydock on 18 May 1999 with a museum building alongside. Today she represents the only nearly-intact hull of a wooden deepwater sailing ship built to British specifications surviving in the world outside the Falkland Islands

Conversion factors Feet = Metres x 3.281
Metres = Feet ÷ 0.3048



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