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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Slow progress for Alma

29 Mar 2011

The 107-year-old Alma Doepel is continuing to undergo a major refit in Docklands’ Shed 2 with her skylights being painstakingly restored.

Known affectionately as Alma, the ship has been undergoing repairs in Docklands since returning from Port Macquarie in 2008 and is currently having her five double skylights repaired.

As part of the restoration the skylights timber frames are being pulled apart to be repaired and its brass guards and hardware cleaned, polished and refitted.

Volunteer Rain Papli, a retiree and model ship builder, is currently working on the restoration of the skylights and said: “It’s a bit like restoring antique furniture but it has to stand up to the elements and rigors of a sailing ship.”

Mr Papli spends two or three days a week working on the Alma, which is Australia’s last surviving coastal trader, and each skylight takes about 32 days to restore.

Lend Lease wants to display the restored ship as part of its “Dock” section of its Victoria Harbour master plan.

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