Alma Doepel

Alma Doepel sailing into Melbourne 2009 for repair

If you have an interest in ships and/or Australian history then come along and see this tall ship the Alma Doepel being restored.


It’s sat in the Docklands at the moment and is being restored by volunteers with a bit of help from some experts.

I gather it’s taken a bit longer than originally planned to restore it. The original target was 2013 so that it could take part in the Royal Australian Navy centenary celebrations but work is still ongoing at the time of writing.


The Alma Doepel is a three masted sailing ship which was built in Australia in 1903 – at least it will be a three masted sailing ship when it’s been restored again – the masts are currently in the repair shed undergoing renovation.

One of the volunteers, Barry, showed me around the ship and the repair shed..........

........He told me there are between 40 and 50 volunteers altogether helping to restore it...........


Alma Doepel mast

.........It sure looks a complicated exercise as they had to empty the vessel of engines, piping etc first to get access to repair the rotting hull timbers..........

.........A couple of the deck cabins have also been removed and are lying in the repair shed..........

.........Next on the agenda is to lift the ship out of the water to repair the hull, then the repaired items get put back on and voila!. Well, ok, maybe not quite that simple!

When it’s complete it will be a sail training boat for youngsters like the Enterprize is...........

.........In fact the Enterprize's new berth is alongside the Alma Doepel now...........

Alma Doepel requiring a bit of love and kindness

...........In case you don’t know, the Enterprize was Melbourne's founding ship arriving at the River Yarra on 30th August 1835 with a few rather dodgy characters by all accounts...........

.........Of course, The Yarra wasn’t known as the Yarra then and there weren’t too many coffee shops around either...........

...........Not sure I would have got off the boat!

You can turn up to have a look at the restoration between 10am and 5pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. They seem to be a very friendly bunch if you want to join up and give them a hand...........

.........In fact they seem to have regular barbies there if I’ve read their website correctly. See www.almadoepel.com.au.


Alma Doepel visitor centre


They're located at Shed 2 at North Wharf Road which is more or less an extension from Collins Street. Park up at Safeway and walk 200 or 300 metres down the wharf and you can’t miss it.

Check out the map below:


View Alma Doepel in a larger map





Return from Alma Doepel to Sunny Day Things

Return to Free Things To Do Melbourne Homepage