MV Wentworth; 1948
MV WentworthAbout this object
The M.V. Wentworth was built by Stannard Bros. in Balmain in 1948 and spent all her working life as a port services vessel cruising between Sydney, Botany Bay and Port Kembla.
She took boilermakers to the steelworks, steelworkers to the dockyards, oil workers to refineries, crew men to their ships, migrants to Quarantine and mail to those living and working on islands in the harbour. On occasions she took people sight-seeing and sometimes carried officials to starting lines at sailing regattas. Because she was small and had a shallow draft, she battled through big seas and huge swells where larger vessels dared not to go, in order to rescue stranded people or other vessels in trouble.
For over 40 years the Wentworth faithfully carried out her duties in Sydney and the south coast, but sadly her timber construction needed constant maintenance and repairs. When the costs for maintenance became too high she was retired, and her former duties were taken over by vessels made from steel and fibreglass.
In 1999, a group of passionate volunteers from the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum rescued M.V. Wentworth and brought her to Port Macquarie for a make-over. She needed specialist and tender care to ensure that her vital parts and characteristics were preserved and restored to their former youthful appearance.
After nearly two years and 8000 hours of painstakingly difficult and demanding work by many volunteers, the M.V.Wentworth was ready again to return to familiar surroundings, but this time as the “flagship” of the Maritime Museum in the calmer waters of the Hastings River. She had been purchased from Stannards for just $1.00, but there were many costs involved in transporting her from Sydney, in repairing her timbers and re-conditioning her motors, all of which were met by generous donations from the Port Macquarie and Hastings valley communities.
The restoration project was a major undertaking by the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum volunteers. It reflects their interest in preserving our maritime heritage and their skills in maritime craftsmanship, and demonstrates their commitment and dedication to the completion of the project. Not only have they restored the little lady to her former glory, but they have made sure that she meets all the relevant marine survey requirements, so she can again carry passengers and visitors while exploring and enjoying our beautiful local waterways.
8 September 2014
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