The Mid North Coast Maritime Museum has applied for a $189,000 grant to replace its aged slip at the Hibbard site.
The slipway is the oldest continuously used slipway on the eastern seaboard with some of the original bed logs still in place.
The museum operates three sites - Hibbard slipway, which was first used in 1884, the main museum headquarters on the headland and the boat shed at the end of Clarence Street.
Slipway president Ron Window said local business will benefit if the grant application is successful.
"Our slip is about to fall apart and it needs urgent replacing," he said.
"We have that grant application going on at the moment. If we are successful, those funds will be used to complete the new works.
"However, we don't want to sit on our hands so our volunteers are doing as much preliminary work as they can.
"We can have between eight and 20 members on-site on a Wednesday or a Saturday - but we are always on the look out for new members," he said.
There is a variety of skills set between the members and everyone is more than accommodating in sharing that knowledge and skills.Ron Window
"There is a variety of skills set between the members and everyone is more than accommodating in sharing that knowledge and skills."
Mr Window said the slip was used to generate an income stream through maintenance works on boats and other water craft, and on-selling donated boats.
The latest donated boat is from North Shore's Mel Anning who donated the Mary Heather - a 21 foot, double diangle, built using Queensland maple, silver ash stringers with a deep V planning hull.
The boat was designed and built by Mr Anning who is a shipwright by trade.
Mr Anning's mother's family - the Phillips - enjoyed a long association with boat building in Balmain.
Mr Window said the Mary Heather was beautifully built.
"The workmanship is excellent featuring cross planking made with double diangle.
"I'm not sure of the age of the vessel but it was used as a fishing boat and is powered by a small Chrysler V8 engine.
"It could plane pretty quickly," he said.
"Our plan is to do the hull up and sell it as a finished hull. This would allow the purchaser to decide what superstructure finish they would like.
"It would suit an outside fishing boat or an in-river cruiser."
Mr Window said the museum is often donated boats in a variety of conditions. Some are restored and then put on display within the museum while others are on-sold.
Other donated boats currently at the site include a 118-year--old Couta boat that plied its trade for 50 years around Port Phillip Bay before heading to Stuarts Point.
Renamed the Sharpie - in honour of its most recent owner Norm Sharp - it is powered by a one cylinder, eight horse power engine.
Volunteers to the maritime museum slipway meet each Wednesday and Saturday at Hibbard off Boundary Street.
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