Alma Doepel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Alma Doepel Under Sail.jpg
Alma Doepel under sail off Sorrento, Victoria, Australia. Late 1980s.
Name: Alma Doepel
Owner: Sail & Adventure, Ltd.
Port of registry: Hobart, Tasmania
Builder: Bellingen, New South Wales
Launched: October 10, 1903
Fate: docked for repairs
General characteristics
Tonnage: 150.69 tonns
Displacement: 256 tons
Length: 45.20 m (148.3 ft)
Beam: 8 m (26 ft)
Height: 28 m (92 ft)
Draught: 2.2 m (7.2 ft)
Propulsion: sail, auxiliary diesel engine, 247 hp (184 kW)
Sail plan: Topsail Schooner, 12 sails, including triangular course on the foremast
Capacity: 36 cadets
Crew: 11

The Alma Doepel is a three-masted topsail schooner and is one of the oldest such ships surviving.

Early history[edit]

Alma Doepel was built in 1903 in Bellingen, NSW, by Frederick Doepel and named after his youngest daughter Alma. Until 1915 she operated between Sydney and the northern rivers district of New South Wales. In late 1915 she was sold to Tasmanian owners and commenced operation in Tasmania, mainly carrying timber and goods between Hobart and Melbourne. She was fitted with an auxiliary engine in 1916, and again in 1936. In a 1937 refit her rig was simplified from having square topsails on the foremast to having a fore-and-after rig. In 1943 she was requisitioned by the army, refitted and renamed AK82, and used as an army supply vessel running from Townsville and Darwin to Papua New Guinea. After the war she was reverted to merchant vessel configuration, resuming operation in Tasmania in 1946. From 1961 to 1975 she was stripped of her rigging and used to carry limestone, before being sold, for the scrap value of her engines, to the Melbourne company Sail & Adventure in 1976.[1]

Alma Doepel on custom-made barge undergoing hull work as part of complete restoration. Docklands, Victoria, Australia.


From 1976 to 1987, Alma Doepel was comprehensively restored and returned to full sail in magnificent style to lead the Parade of Sail in Sydney Harbour in January 1988. She was then used as a sail training ship, based in Melbourne, until 1999 when the need for work on the hull and lack of funds put a stop to this activity. In April 2001, Alma Doepel was taken to Port Macquarie where she was berthed at Lady Nelson Wharf and open to the public as a static exhibit. In January 2009 the Alma Doepel returned to Melbourne. She is berthed at No 2 Victoria Dock (Melbourne) undergoing an extensive refit to return her to survey so she can recommence sail training.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McDonell, R. (Ralph); Alma Doepel Supporters Club (Vic.) (1987), Alma Doepel, the history of an Australian schooner, 1903-1975, Alma Doepel Supporters Club, ISBN 978-0-7316-1931-3 


  • Schauffelen, Otmar (2005). Chapman Great Sailing Ships of the World. Hearst Books. ISBN 1-58816-384-9. 

External links[edit]