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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Lifeline for heritage fleet

28 Mar 2018

Docklands’ heritage fleet has been thrown a lifeline, with Development Victoria last month extending their tenure at Shed 2 for another year.

The decision is particularly important for the owners of tall ship Alma Doepel, which has been under restoration at the site for the last 10 years.

The vessel had only three months left under the current arrangement and would not have been finished in time.

Development Victoria has explained that the extension stems from Lendlease’s timetable to develop Collins Wharf.

Development Victoria’s general manager precincts Simon Wilson said the extension was a good outcome for all parties.

“Work on Collins Wharf is not expected to commence along this section of the finger wharf until 2019 so it makes sense to allow the current tenants to remain in Shed 2 and continue their great work,” he said.

“We’ve worked closely with the tenants and Lendlease to come to this agreement and we’re keen to follow the progress of the restoration of the Alma Doepel.”

Bill Reid and Peter Harris from the Alma Doepel project said the extension of the licence was very welcomed news.

“This will provide the essential and unique waterfront facilities for the Alma Doepel team to complete the Program of Works included in the ‘Float Alma 2018’ strategy,” they said.

“Subject to funding, the shipwrights and volunteers aim to have the hull rebuilt by December 2018 for a relaunch early in 2019.”

Other tenants include Tall Ships Victoria, the Victorian Wooden Boat Centre, Enterprize Ship Trust, PV Property Maintenance and Sail and Adventure (Alma Doepel).

Mr Wilson said the long-term plans for Collins Wharf were for a vibrant waterfront residential neighbourhood with around 1500 new residences.

The Alma Doepel spokespeople also said: “In parallel with the ship’s restoration, Alma’s visitor and education teams will continue to develop community engagement and activation programs with the growing numbers of community groups, schools and visitors from Melbourne, regional Victoria, interstate and overseas. Many of these groups will become participants in Alma’s future sailing adventures.”

“With the hull floating alongside North Wharf, the next stage will include replacement of deck beams and deck planks and fitting the 17 masts, booms gaffs and yards rebuilt over the last five years and now stored in the shed.”

“Shed 2 also houses some 1000 items of the ship’s fittings and equipment including the engine room deckhouse together with around 30 tonnes of timber and the array of specialist machine tools used in the restoration.”

“The focus will then move to installation of operational systems including engines, tanks, electrical, plumbing, navigation, safety and accommodation spaces in readiness for Alma to commence sailing with up to 49 crew and youth trainees and working with public and private groups to provide the authentic experience of sailing this historic Australian ship.”

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