Located at shed 2, North Wharf Rd. Docklands , the evening commenced with variable weather turning into a solid downpour just before the 7.30pm commencement.

We were made very welcome by Tom Parkes and Robert Vandestadt, with a late arrival of Tim Horton to ensure all was well.

Robert gave us Alma Doepel's history from launching in 1903 to eventually being sailed to Sydney in 1987 for refurbishment. She was recommissioned in 1988 as a sail trainer but as she was not maintained her certificate was withdrawn in 1989.

She languished in sub tropical waters and became infested with teredo worms. Eventually she was brought back to Victoria by a volunteer crew, with canvas and fibreglass patches to keep her watertight. On the return voyage she showed her pedigree by logging 240 miles over a 24 hour period in a 4.5 meter swell.

She has been under reconstruction since her return to Melbourne and it is expected that she will be refloated within the next 2 years.

The workshops are a sight to behold with the topmasts being built from Oregon laminated to form the width and lengths needed. A complete inventory was made of all components as they were removed, to assist in the maintenance and replacement programme.

We had a good turnout of members with 18 being present and the WBA made a $100.00 donation to the restoration.

The Alma Doepel Supporters welcome visitors, and any donations that will help them to complete these works. For further information please visit www.almadoepel.com.au.

Member login

Join the WBA

Membership is open to all wooden boat enthusiasts. Many members own boats, others do not, but all enjoy the chance to get together and "muck about with boats". Their boats include rowing boats, putt-putts, radio controlled models, pond yachts, canoes, kayaks, steam-powered boats, sailing dinghies, dayboats and ocean-going yachts.

The Wooden Boat Association is based in Melbourne, with regular sailing days scheduled on Albert Park Lake, as well as other venues around Melbourne, and at least one weekend each year elsewhere in the state.

Especially welcome is the first-time wooden boat builder or restorer, who can expect to receive ample advice and assistance in getting their dream onto the water.

Benefits of Wooden Boat Association Membership 

  • Become part of a friendly and sociable group of people with a common interest in wooden boats.
  • Receive Shavings, a monthly newsletter bringing timely news about events and activities in Victoria.
  • Regular meetings with a wide range of interesting speakers and activities. Our usual venue is the Albert Park Yacht Club, with visits to other venues from time to time.
  • Monthly sailing days, on Albert Park Lake and other locations close to Melbourne.
  • Use of the Association's own boats, two traditional sailing boats, Begonia and Lindsay Symons, our canoe Stringybark, and our extremely rare Port Philip 12.
  • Access to the Association's extensive library of boatbuilding and other nautical books.
  • Companionship with sister associations in other states

Join the WBA now