1601 MV Cape Don
MV Cape Don
The MV Cape Don was built in 1962 at the state Dockyard in Newcastle for the Commonwealth Lighthouse service.
The steel for her hull and structure came from both Australia and England. Most the heavy machinery of MV Cape Don was British built except the main engine which was built by the state dockyard.
Click to read more
Her service over decades saw her assist with building and maintenance lighthouses and other navigation equipment as well as transferring lighthouse crews and stores.
She was home ported in Fremantle, Western Australia, but regularly visited the rest of the country.
In 1988 she led the sailing ships into Sydney Harbour on Australia day. She was also used in several movies including Dog Watch, Goddess and Unbroken.
At the end of her government service, she was used as a cargo liner between Australia and the Solomon Islands, eventually laid up in Clarence River, where she was sailed by a two man crew down the NSW coast before being left in Sydney.
Ultimately, she ended up at the Balls Head Coal Loader where an ex-crew member spotted her. After advertising for help to restore her, someone bought the ship and set up a group now known as “The Cape Don Society”, made up of dedicated volunteers, working away restoring her to her former glory.
The work of the Society is being overseen by the Sea Heritage Foundation, a charitable trust.
Through the efforts of the Cape Don Society, she’ll be restored to be used as a museum ship as well as training, and to represent an example of traditional Australian shipbuilding and coastal shipping.
If you are interested in finding how you can volunteer or sponsor the efforts of the restoration, visit the MV Cape Don Society website for more information or head over the MV Cape Don Facebook Page .
I’d like to thank Daniel Callender who contributed most of the material you see in this introduction and the photo captions, as well as searching all over the MV Cape Don for my car keys (which turned out to be in my camera bag).
Like what you see?
Selected photos from the Lost Collective, like the one illustrated, can now be purchased at our online shop. These superior quality prints are available in a range of sizes ready for framing.
Join the growing conversation within the Facebook album or share this page with friends using the buttons below.