Dock the Don

By Sea Heritage Foundation Pty Ltd

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A little bit of context

  • MV Cape Don, built at the State Dockyard, Newcastle, NSW and completed in 1963, is the last surviving Cape Class ship that was purpose-built to service lighthouses around the coast of Australia. Read More
  • The work of the Society is being overseen by the Sea Heritage Foundation, a charitable trust.
  • The MV Cape Don has been used as a location for many movies, ‘Goddess’ ‘Dogwatch’ and the Angelina Jolie-directed blockbuster ‘Unbroken’.
  • If you would like to become a Volunteer (click here) and help restore our ship, we invite you to join our core of skilled and non-skilled volunteers. Membership is open to everyone.
  • We are grateful for the many sponsors who have donated so generously and would like to thank them for their ongoing support. (insert link after web site has been sorted)
  • The Commonwealth Lighthouse Service Museum will tell the story of the ships and crew of the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service.

Mission Statement

To restore MV Cape Don, to maintain the ship as a moored, floating museum, so that she may be an active reminder and commemoration of the maritime history of Australia and all the people who sailed on her and were involved with her service. Our aim includes restoration of many of the ship’s systems to operational status.


But there’s a problem...

  • Although the ship was built using quality steel made by BHP in Newcastle NSW, time has taken its toll and we aim to resolve the problem.

Here’s what we’re doing about it...

  • The ship needs to be dry-docked as soon as possible to enable a thorough inspection of the hull and to carry out repairs where necessary. To achieve this aim, the Society needs to raise $300,000 which will be added to the funds already earmarked for dry docking.

How it’s going to change the World...

  • By restoring the Australian National Maritime Museum-listed heritage ship (ARHV 208) MV Cape Don, we are preserving, for the benefit of the community, an era of the Australian shipbuilding Industry which incorporated the riveted and welded construction of steel-hulled ships.

You can join us...

  • The Society needs $300,000 which will be added to funds already set aside for the purpose of putting the ship into dry dock, as you can imagine it’s not a cheap exercise! The money raised will certainly be put to good use and if you become a member of the MV Cape Don Society you can visit the ship and take part in the restoration of an important part of Australian maritime history.

Thank you so much for donating to our campaign. Your belief in what we are doing means the world to us. Knowing how awesome you are, we’re sure you have amazing friends you could share the campaign with on Facebook.


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Team Members

John Stokes

John Stokes

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