The iconic Chinese junk is being returned to its former glory.
Local boatie and former owner Allen Rothery is a man with a plan to restore the ship to return to its former glory at the Maritime Museum slipway, after purchasing it in August last year.
"I bought it off a fella in Hamilton Island and I sailed it down to Port Macquarie, he said.
The Junk was a popular addition to the Hastings River waterways, regularly plying its tourist and entertainment cruises.
Mr Rothery owned the vessel from 1996 spending eight years sailing the river.
“In 2004 I received an offer I couldn’t refuse and sold it,” he said.
"There have been a further four owners over the years and I eventually purchased it back in August 2018.
“Unfortunately it had fallen into a bit of a bad state. I couldn’t stand to see it like that so I’ve been working on it ever since.”
Mr Rothery said the vessel – Junk Material – was originally named Why Not II. He says he may revert to that original name.
Mr Rothery, who also owns an equally impressive former World War II tugboat, said much of the exterior wooden planks had to be replaced during the re-fit. He’s also re-ribbed the vessel.
"It will be another two months at the slipway, then I will take it home and finish it off the inside because the outside will be done - new curtains, new upholstery, new wiring, the motor has been overhauled and it was actually pretty good," he said.
"It was originally built for Levi's Jeans, it was their corporate boat in Hong Kong in 1976 and came out to Australia as deck cargo,”
“It was on the water around Sydney Harbor for a while.
“I will sail her again,” he added.
The Junk, which still attracts a five star rating on Tripadvisor from 163 reviews, has room for three people to sleep, a full galley, toilet, shower and deck room for 30 people.
"It is lovely, a lovely family boat. I don't intend to do cruises with multitudes of people, it was mainly locals that supported me before," Mr Rothery said.
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