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Alma barge for sale

04 Feb 2016

Alma barge for sale Image

By Eva Garnes

The Alma Doepel restoration team is looking for a buyer for its floating barge.

In December, the City of Melbourne decided against purchasing the barge, allowing the Alma’s owner, Sail and Adventure, to look elsewhere for a buyer.

The council’s option to purchase the floating barge before it was put on the general market was part of its agreement with Sail and Adventure to provide $300,000 worth of restoration funding.  

The council had the option of purchasing the barge at $300,000 less than the market price, however the Future Melbourne Committee agreed not to purchase the barge as the council did not currently have any plans for its use.

Sail and Adventure now faces the task of finding a buyer willing to purchase the barge for the $900,000 market price, but allow them to continue using the barge until the boat is back in the water.

Restoration director Peter Harris said he didn’t believe this would be too difficult.

“We have already had some written and oral expressions of interest, and hopefully more will come. The market price is non-negotiable, due to the need to hit the fundraising target after we have paid the broker and all fees surrounding the sale. If we cannot hit the target, we will not have enough funds to get the ship off the floating barge, and hand it over to its new owner,” Mr Harris explained.

He is not concerned about the fact that S&A will have to retain the floating barge after the initial purchase for around 12 months before the buyer can take possession of it.

“Whoever is going to buy it will need to get the necessary permits from the council in order to use it. We had no obstacles to our application, but it still took 13 months to get our permits in order. So this waiting period will be a perfect time to finish off the necessary work before she goes back into the water,” Mr Harris said.

The sale of the barge will allow the continued restoration of the Alma Doepel.

“Our progress depends on our fundraising, and we are now finding it necessary to sell the floating barge in order to reach our fundraising targets,” Mr Harris said. “The longer she is out of the water, the more damage is done to the planks.

At one stage we will reach the point of no return on the damage done, so we need to act now in order to get the Alma Doepel back in the water as soon as possible. If we can sell the floating barge at the market price of $900,000, we should be able to get her back in by the end of 2016,” he continued.

The Alma Doepel remains a great community asset to the Docklands and will continue to serve young Melburnians once the restoration is finished.

“When you see the young faces filled with joy and achievement as they leave the ship after a day out sailing, it makes it all worth it,” Mr Harris concluded.

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