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 She was recommissioned in 1988 as a sail trainer but as she was not maintained her certificate was withdrawn in 1989.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.