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Biographical entry Reeks, Walter (1861 - 1925)

25 February 1861
Christchurch, Hampshire, England
2 October 1925
Mosman, New South Wales, Australia
Naval architect


Walter Reeks is probably best remembered for his designs for the Manly ferries. He was one of the few naval architects in Australia in the late nineteenth century.
Reeks served apprenticeships in the United Kingdom with Alexander Richardson, naval architect and George Inman & Sons, shipbuilders. He then came to Australia 1885 where his main work was commissions from wealthy yacht-owners. Other commissions included the design of the double-ended, screw-propelled ferryboats operated by Balmain New Ferry Co. Ltd (his unique design operated on Sydney Harbour until 1984) and the commission from the Manly Co-operative Steamship Co. Ltd and Port Jackson Co-operative Steamship Co. Ltd for large double-screw ferryboats required to operate at high speed in deep-sea conditions (his designs pioneered the Manly ferryboat design of the twentieth century). President, Engineering Association of New South Wales, 1914, vice-commodore, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron 1906-1910.

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Rosanne Walker