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Support for Success

There are many examples of successful heritage vessels - ones that have survived the test of time, been successfully restored, or are in continuous use.


Successful historic vessels need a goal, and a plan. The goal may be permanent display, but for a great many it’s the challenge of remaining operational and finding regular opportunities to be used. 


The successful management and interpretation of an historic vessel begins with a Vessel Management Plan (VMP).


The ARHV has helped many projects, here are just some:


The following craft taken as a sample from the ARHV are good examples of success and ANMM has helped with a number of these projects.


MV Tacoma: a deep sea tuna fishing vessel now managed as a not-for-profit society, ANMM provided support writing and reviewing the VMP. VMPs have since been prepared for Tacoma’s support craft and the Tacoma Foundations’ recently acquired cray boat MV Dolphin.

Taipan: the Bob Miller/Ben Lexcen 18 foot skiff that revolutionised the class in 1959- completely restored and rebuilt by ANMM to its 1959 configuration and is now on display.

Lady Hopetoun: a 1902 steam launch and the founding vessel for the Sydney Heritage Fleet, now operating regularly on Sydney Harbour.

Terra Lina: a pre 1900s Hobart yacht, rebuilt by the Wooden Boat Guild in Tasmania with MMAPSS support. Now sailing on the Derwent regularly

Noah and Shoalhaven: sister ship flood boats, both assisted with ANMM MMAPSS supported inspections and VMP preparation.


For individual projects the ARHV can provide a statement of the craft’s significance along with guidelines and vessel management plans that present a best practice approach to managing craft. All projects need to use their funds wisely to achieve a proper outcome, and having organised plans in place will enable this outcome.



A supporting plan is often a mandatory submission requirement when seeking to obtain grants, such as MMAPSS. A VMP also demonstrates to a potential sponsor that the vessel’s background is understood and that a detailed plan is in place for the project.


VMP- template for download and use

MMAPSS-  The museum’s grant and internship program (known as the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme or MMAPSS) offers funding to regional museums and organisations to help preserve or display objects of national and historical maritime significance


Retaining a Vessel

Retaining a vessel successfully requires a combination of factors:


Keeping the vessel operational: operating a vessel requires that it is continually maintained, continued use ensures its successful survival.

Practical conservation : a balanced approach to rebuilding an maintenance can ensure a vessel’s successful survival, a blend of old and new preferable to complete decay.

Context: keeping a vessel in their region or within an institution’s collecting policy provides a supporting environment – especially important for successful display.


A long term outcome is needed, an end use that is achievable either as an operational craft or one that is able to be displayed, This outcome needs to be established and defined realistically to justify the project and ensure the vessel remains in good condition well into the future.