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Sydney Heritage Fleet
Our maritime history lives on, and it’s yours to share!
“The Lady Hopetoun and Port Jackson Marine Steam Museum”, Sydney Heritage Fleet predecessor was formed in 1965 with the intention of preserving Sydney’s 1902 VIP steam yacht, Lady Hopetooun, by a group of public spirits. Later it was renamed the Sydney Maritime Museum Ltd. In 1998, Australian Heritage Fleet was accepted by the museum. The Fleet now consists of 10 historic warships, one of the largest in Australia.
A community-based non-profit organisation, the Fleet’s mission is:
To build and maintain an internationally recognised maritime heritage core of excellence for all Australians by addressing our continual maritime history in terms of research, development, conservation, preservation, education and service.
The Fleet is financed by grants, subscriptions and sales from charters and tours.
With a large membership of 1200 and 450 devoted volunteers, the flot of antique vessels was repaired, run and preserved. They retain traditional techniques and expertise in this process.
James Craig, the oldest ship of the Fleet, was completely rebuilt and frequently sailed in 1874. Three of Sydney Harbor’s most important vessels are also run by the Fleet: 1902 the 1902 Waratah Stem Tug, 1902 the Lady Hopetoun VIP Steam Start and 1903 the Boomerang Schooner.
Some operating vessels included the Protex, internal-harbor motor launch in 1908; Harman, ex-RAN port workboat / passenger motor boat in about 1943; Berrima, the general workboat / passenger engine boat in Botany Bay in 1955.
The Kanangra ferry in 1912, the Kookaburra II wood speed ship in the 1950s and the John Oxley pilot ship in 1927 were being restaurated.
The Fleet also consists of 55 small, antique vessels and one of Australia’s largest sets of marine engines, restored and maintained. The set of the Fleet consists of more than fifty model boats, including some of the Fleet’s own warships.
A comprehensive research collection and archive containing photos, ship maps, diaries, logographs and documents is held by Fleet’s Maritime Records and Research Centre.
The Sydney Heritage Fleet made significant contributions to the development in 1991 of the Australian National Maritime Museum. In their different roles, the Sydney Heritage Fleet focuses on the maintenance, repair and operating of heritage vessels.
Tours by Sydney Heritage Fleet