- Book reviewer
- Ship histories and stories, Book reviews
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 2017 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Somewhat unusually we have been asked to review a CD.
Aus-Ships 2017 by Tony Starke, revised by Rex Cox and Robert Fildes. This is the fourth and greatly improved edition of their CD which was originally produced in 2008 by Ships Worldwide (NSW) Pty Ltd – a company producing e-books on maritime topics. Available from the publishers at $30.00 www.shipsworldwide.companyor Ships Worldwide, 1001/281 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW 2000. Contact email@example.com Phone (02) 8065 3161.
To quote the original designer of this useful reference tool, the main objective was ‘to create…an electronic, illustrated and continuing historical record of all powered ships which have been registered in Australia’.
With over 4,500 illustrations and covering more than 6,000 ships, the fourth edition of Aus-Ships is available on a CD or USB. This updated edition includes a cross indexed Australian Merchant Vessels list of past and present ships with more than 4,000 photographs, a cross-indexed Australian Defence Vessels list of past and present ships with nearly 300 photographs, including RAN ships as well as Army, Air Force, Customs and Police vessels. This includes Defence force vessel by pennant numbers list, a Defence Forces major ocean going vessel class list and an Australian shipbuilders list.
The portable document format (pdf) was chosen to ensure that the entries can be corrected as new information becomes available but not accidentally erased or altered while being used. The detail available for each vessel varies because not all ship owners record all information in similar sequence but there is a good chance of it being as up-to-date as possible.
On the downside the search function is limited and a more complex search function would be a logical ongoing development. However, the pdf presents the data as a readable document that can be printed in whole or segments.
Not all entries have accompanying photographs but as far as is possible, in the case of warships the class is represented and similar merchant ships are illustrated. Overall this document is the result of diligent research and is a credit to the people who have collected and verified the entries. It joins other works like Ross Gillett’s Australian and New Zealand Warships in providing the researcher with a consolidated list of vessels associated with Australia. It is reasonably priced and is a useful tool for anyone interested in maritime history.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Colthorpe