The Mermaid was built in Howrah, India in 1816, originally cutter rigged with a length overall of 17 meters.

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The Mermaid became famous when used by Lieutenant Philip Parker King RN to survey parts of the Australian coastline missed by Mathew Flinders.

The HM Cutter Mermaid was only 56ft (17m) from stem to stern, with a beam of 18ft 6inches (5.6m) and a draft of 9ft (2.7m). Weighing 84 tons and having been built of teak in Calcutta, she was less than a year old when commissioned on 16 October 1817.

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