Timber from Central Pier’s western tip to be repurposed on the Alma Doepel

Timber from Central Pier’s western tip to be repurposed on the Alma Doepel
Sean Car

Timber from the western tip of the century-old Central Pier is being recycled to help with the ongoing restoration of one of Australia’s oldest surviving tall ships, the Alma Doepel.

The pier’s custodian Development Victoria undertook demolition of its western tip last year, which had been disconnected from the main structure of Central Pier since 2017.

Now, timber removed during the demolition is being put to good use here in Docklands with Development Victoria donating six pieces of ironbark to the restoration of the 119-year-old Alma Doepel, which is based at North Wharf.

Development Victoria’s Acting Group Head Precincts Niall Cunningham said it was fantastic to see parts of the western tip of Central Pier remain connected with the waters of Victoria Harbour.

“We are proud to be a long-time supporter of this project to restore the historic Alma Doepel,” Mr Cunningham said.

“Development Victoria staff have also volunteered their time to help the restoration team as they work towards getting this fantastic ship back into operation.”

“Central Pier has been an important part of Docklands’ story and it’s great that its legacy can live on in the waters of Victoria Harbour through reusing some of its timber in the rebuild of this ship.”

Salvaged timbers have been recurved and laminated into the ship’s structure, which Alma Doepel restoration director Dr Peter Harris said had been used as timber supports for a deckhouse, providing access to facilities below the ship’s deck.

Having previously received timber from other wharves around Docklands, including Australia Wharf, Dr Harris thanked Development Victoria for another generous contribution to the project, particularly amid timber supply issues within the boating industry.

“It’s a great thing to do,” Dr Harris told Docklands News.

“This historic timber is being built into the ship, valued and appreciated by the current and future generations of crews, trainees, guests and visitors,” Dr Harris said, adding that the the ironbark received was in “very good condition” having been salvaged from a section of the pier that was below the western tip’s water-tight deck.

Development Victoria removed the western tip of Central Pier in August last year, having worked closely with Heritage Victoria as part of the process.

Once complete, the Alma Doepel will be used for youth sail training programs, which will be led by the Waypoint Foundation. •

For more information and to donate, visit almadoepel.com.au

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