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Australian Register of Historic Vessels

Nominate a vessel for the Australian Register of Historic Vessels (ARHV) by entering its details below.

You must be the owner of the vessel to be nominated, or have the consent of the owner of the vessel, with the owner’s details included on the form. The form can be filled out by someone other than the owner.

The Australian Register of Historic Vessels records the number, type, distribution and condition of Australian historic vessels. If your vessel is nominated and then successfully registered, selected information will be published on the ARHV website.

Assessment Criteria

The ARHV assesses vessels on the well-established standard criteria of significance used in the heritage and museum world. Significance in this context describes the relationship between vessels and their Australian connections:

  • Historical themes and events - such as the history of trade and commerce, the relevance of vessels to the development of coastal, riverine and regional communities, to sport and leisure pursuits and vessel design and technology.
  • Aesthetics
  • Scientific and research lessons which can be learnt from a vessel.
  • Social importance of vessels to their communities e.g. fishing vessels, Indigenous craft, river and coastal transport vessels.

It is important to note that a vessel can only be assessed for inclusion in the ARHV if it meets one or more of the above criteria.

The following questions may assist you in deciding if your vessel meets the ARHV assessment criteria:

  • Was your vessel built before 1970? (1970 has been chosen as the cut-off date because it marks the start of the era of mass production. It also helps us manage the number of boats. In some exceptional cases vessels built after 1970 will be included.)
  • Has the vessel been associated with people or events that have contributed to Australia's (maritime) history?
  • Is it a rare or important example of its type, designer, builder, class, construction or period?
  • Can the vessel tell us about or demonstrate some aspect of maritime history or technology?
  • Does the vessel have a special relationship to a community or group?
  • Does your vessel still include original construction features?
  • Have any major modifications been made?
  • Do you have information about the vessel's history or any of its former owners - its provenance?
  • Do you know if any major modifications have been made?

The Nomination Process

If you think your boat is suitable for the Register, gather as much information as you can and complete the online form here and submit to the ARHV. The ARHV Curator will contact you to follow up research details. An assessment will then be made by the ARHV Council's Steering Committee who review all nominations before recommending craft to be added to the Register. The ARHV Curator will then notify you about your vessel's nomination assessment.


The primary information about your vessel is held on a database managed by the Australian National Maritime Museum. Only specified fields are published on the ARHV website. Vessel ownership and personal details will remain CONFIDENTIAL and vessels on the Register, unlike historic buildings, will NOT have any heritage restrictions placed on them affecting modifications or sale. Any requests to contact owners will be forwarded by the administrators of the ARHV.

ARHV benefits to boat holders

Boat owners will benefit from providing information for the ARHV by:

  • Receiving a certificate rewarding their active participation in the project
  • Gaining recognition for their boat in the form of a statement of significance, putting it into historical context
  • Gaining access to research information on designers, builders and similar vessels
  • Making contact with other boat owners, clubs and museums
  • Receiving advice on preservation methods and materials, and suppliers

Your vessel on the ARHV

Unlike historic buildings, there are no heritage restrictions of any sort on vessels on the ARHV. The ANMM has no authority to control how a vessel is used or maintained.

Related materials

Assets related to your vessels such as images can be uploaded through this form. Alternatively, hard copies of this material can be sent to the ARHV. Please contact us for more information.

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