"The steam tug Wattle is historically, socially and technologically significant at the national level as the only small harbour steam tug still surviving in Victoria."
If you would like to become a volunteer, or simply contribute to Wattle's restoration as an interested supporter, please complete this Membership Form. If you have any enquiries, please contact BSMM Chairman Tony Lewis, on ph 0410 471 819 or email email@example.com.
Volunteers, young and old, male and female, are the backbone of Wattle. Our Saturday numbers are regularly 16 to 18 people, and sometimes more. The volunteer contribution to the refurbishment of Wattle is estimated to have exceeded 40,000 hours since work began in 2009. The gathering each Saturday at lunch for the volunteer crew is a wonderful indicator of progress on the restoration of the ship.
People come together and chat about what they've been doing, whether it's under or on top of the boiler, in the engine room, the wheelhouse, or the fore or after compartments. Others may have been in the shed painting, cleaning parts, creating wood cabinets, seats and flag lockers, or working in one of the containers quarter-mastering, dismantling, grinding and shaping.
Learning sessions also take place at lunchtime on topics such as ship stability, buoyancy, bunkering safety, super-heated steam, with more practical instruction in welding, woodwork, thread cutting and gasketmaking.
Our volunteers have built up a camaraderie that goes beyond just turning up on a Saturday – we also take an active interest in each other's health and well-being. Support is given to those with health issues, problems are aired (but not necessarily solved!) and knowledge and resources are exchanged, providing everyone with comradeship and valuable social support.