He's a former butcher with a passion for timber boats and he's just spent $150,000 rejuvenating The Junk.
The popular vessel was a well-known entertainment and leisure boat that plied its trade within the Hastings River waterways over a number of years.
Allen Rothery says he's spent the best part of 18 months working seven days restoring the ship to its former glory at the Maritime Museum slipway at Hibbard.
He described himself as a "wooden boat tragic".
"I just have this passion for timber boats," he said, watching the final preparations for Thursday's return to the water.
"They talk to you; it's like a love affair.
"Anyone who has been involved as much as I have, you just can't and don't walk away.
"This boat was just screaming out to not let her sink."
This boat was just screaming out to not let her sink.Allen Rothery
Mr Rothery said once the vessel was on land he soon realised the extent of the work that was required.
The hull had been infested with worm and it had dry rot. He also rebuild the bow and still has some final work to complete the stern.
"I have re planked it, re-ribbed it, put new electrics and new plumbing throughout and painted it in traditional green, and gold colours," he added.
A sailor since his childhood, Mr Rothery admitted he "would probably make a better shipwright than he was a butcher".
Once back in the water, The Junk will be rafted to a tugboat he owns and moored to add the finishing touches.
Mr Rothery bought The Junk to Port Macquarie in 1996, selling her in 2004. He bought the ship back in 2018.
He expects The Junk to by plying her trade by Christmas catering to parties of 10 people or more.
"It's just a lovely, wonderful way to spend a night on the water. It's a fun way to make a living," he said.
Mr Rothery praised his fellow members at the Maritime Museum slipway for their support.
Also making news:
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.