This week, MB 172 returned to the museum after its annual slipping. Looking great with a new colour scheme, the vessel can now be viewed from the museum wharves.
Motor Boat 172* was built by the Royal Australian Navy as a naval officers’ launch at the Garden Island Naval Dockyard, Sydney, in 1937. MB 172 spent much of its working life in Darwin, mainly transporting officers and VIPs from ship to shore and around the harbour. Elegant timber launches such as this were replaced by fibreglass and aluminium general-purpose utility boats. When MB 172 was decommissioned, it was stored ashore for many years and stripped of all reusable equipment. It was later transferred from the Royal Australian Navy to the Australian National Maritime Museum. In the late 1980s apprentice shipwrights at Australian Defence Industries rebuilt the launch at its yard in Ryde, New South Wales, and fabricated fittings at its Rosebery foundry.
* MB 172 is the official Navy pennant number