Alma needs new planks


The Alma Doepel is a three masted tall ship, built here in Australia, in 1903. She has over 100 years of history, yet still has a big contribution to make into the future as a sail training ship and historical treasure.

Over 4,000 students and 50,000 adults have learnt to sail on Alma, and we are working with The National Trust to restore her hull so that she can resume her unique contribution to Melbourne.<o:p></o:p>

We need your help to raise funds to restore Alma Doepel so that she can sail once again to develop the leadership and teamwork skills of youth within the Victorian community.

6-7m slabs or boards of spotted gum, cut from renewable forest in NSW. New planks have already been fitted to port and starboard sides above the waterline. Next is to replace the planks on the bottom of the ship. We have found only one supplier of timber at the required quality and size and they have scheduled our logs to be cut by the end of January 2018.

While we require a total of 240 planks for the bottom of the ship, we're hoping to raise enough funds to fit at least 10 planks at $500 through this project for a total of $500.

Image: planks that have already been steamed and fitted above the waterline.

Social Impact

The Alma Doepel previously operated as a sail training ship between 1988 and 1999, with over 4,000 secondary school children and 50,000 adults learning to sail on her.

Alma Doepel offers a unique opportunity to build teamwork, leadership and practical skills, with many of those lucky enough to experience sailing on Alma finding that the lessons learned last a lifetime.<o:p></o:p>

Restoration of Alma Doepel will give the same experience to thousands more young people, adults and volunteers, as well as preserving a beautiful and practical piece of history for future generations to enjoy.<o:p></o:p>

"Tall Ship sail training is unmatched in its ability to achieve outcomes with young people"<o:p></o:p>

"I sailed on the Alma Doepel in the last 2 years of her sail-training life. My thoughts on the experience are really quite simple. Over my 10 or so years of teaching, I have seen a wide range of programs, excursions and camps, but nothing has come close to the effectiveness of Alma's sail-training in helping young people develop qualities like teamwork, initiative, self-reliance and resilience.<o:p></o:p>

In my job as a teacher, I still use tales of my sailing experiences to help convey and illustrate some of these qualities to the children I teach."<o:p></o:p>

2 former Alma Doepel Trainees<o:p></o:p>

A former voyager, Joanne was recently interviewed by the Docklands News, her story is here:<o:p></o:p>

Changing lives via youth sail training Image

Track Record

Alma Doepel has a history in Melbourne, both as a historic trading ship and, in her post-trading life, as a sail training ship on Port Phillip for the demonstrable benefit of Melbourne and Victoria's youth. Alma's previous sail training operations (1988-1999) involved 4,000 secondary school trainees and over 50,000 adults (local residents and tourists) and employed 10-12 people in permanent positions.

With the support of corporate and government sponsors, $1.8Million has already been contributed towards the $3Million project. Corporate sponsorship and benefactor support is sought for the balance.<o:p></o:p>

Hurdles to overcome

The restoration of the hull requires thick planks of Spotted Gum, which is being sourced from Australia and is being cut and milled by local workers. The cost of replacing each above water plank of the Alma Doepel including materials and labour has been costed at $500.

Alma Doepel is currently on a barge in Melbourne's Docklands with re-planking and caulking of the hull in progress (affixing wooden planks and then sealing the hull). Funds are required to employ shipbuilders to complete the re-planking of Alma's hull in a battle against time which includes development on the wharf encroaching on the restoration site.<o:p></o:p>

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  • Sebastien Maury


    Projects Supported

  • David Brennan


    Projects Supported

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