Falie is a 46-metre (151 ft) ketch that traded for many years in Australian waters. She is on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels (HV000459). After her retirement in 1982, she was then the last working ship representing the South Australian ketch fleet, and along with the Nelcebee (HV000419) one of the last two working sail powered cargo vessels in South Australia.
Falie is currently owned by the SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (formerly DTEI) and looked after by a dedicated band of volunteers who aim to restore and keep her in Port Adelaide inner Harbour for future generations to enjoy, and seek to spread awareness of the historic ketch and her importance to South Australia’s maritime history.
Falie was originally built in Maassluis, Netherlands by W Richter in 1919 as a gaff rigged motor schooner collier Hollands Trouw. She was built as a speculation by the builder in the hope of selling her to a prospective buyer and sat idle after her launch in 1919 until purchased by the Spencer’s Gulf Transport Company in 1922. She was renamed and used for coastal trading in South Australia. The vessel was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as HMAS Falie during World War II, serving first as an inspection vessel primarily patrolling the Port of Sydney, Australia, then as a stores ship.
Returned to her owners in 1946, Falie was used to transport explosives around Australia before resuming the South Australian coastal trade to Kangaroo Island and on occasion carrying bulk gypsum from Stenhouse Bay from 1968. She was retired in 1982, then purchased by the South Australian government for preservation as a community and educational resource. The ship was restored for the state’s sesquicentenary celebrations in 1986, with re-masting, new sails, and the fitting of accommodation and a galley. With this arrangement, she could carry up to 70 passengers on day trips, or 20 passengers plus nine crew overnight. Although initially used for day and overnight sails, by 2005 the ship had fallen into disrepair.
In 2005, a survey revealed that her hull plates had corroded to the point where she was unseaworthy. She was not returned to seaworthiness as no sponsor could be found to cover the cost of repairs, estimated to be more than a million dollars. A 2007 proposal to move Falie to the wharf at American River, Kangaroo Island as an interpretive maritime museum was not successful.
She is currently berthed at McLaren Wharf, 8 Mercantile Dock, Port Adelaide close to the City of Adelaide Clipper.