Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.


David Payne

David Payne is Curator of Historic Vessels at Australian National Maritime Museum, and through the Australian Register of Historic Vessels he works closely with heritage boat owners throughout Australia researching and advising on their craft and their social connections. David has also been a yacht designer and documented many of the museum’s vessels with extensive drawings. He has had a wide sailing experience, from Lasers and 12-foot skiffs through to long ocean passages. Since 2012 he has been able to work closely with Aboriginal communities on a number of Indigenous canoe building and watercraft projects.

Making connections in Goolwa

02 Mar 2015

Goolwa, South Australia – 30 odd degrees and rising. Six of us from the museum were heading toward this wonderful town, having flown in from Sydney. After a detour to Port Adelaide to see the hull of the composite construction clipper ship City of Adelaide, we drove south.

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Sydney to Hobart: a past and a present winner

22 Dec 2014

It’s another afternoon of chaotic, stormy weather as I put these words together. It reminds me of a simple thing the late Trygve Halvorsen said to me not long ago about the Sydney to Hobart race: ‘You have to finish to win it’.

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Launching the 70th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

25 Nov 2014

The 70th Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race had its heritage well and truly acknowledged when the media launch was held at the museum on Tuesday 25 November, a month and a day before the fleet heads south. The race start is a public ritual; for decades huge crowds have turned out every Boxing Bay to watch the fleet sail down the harbour, and it only took one race for it to become an institution.

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Myra Too - and the Brian Stewart Collection

08 Aug 2014

How many of us have kept certificates, ribbons or medals, things we won at the school athletics or swimming carnivals, or maybe you have one of those sewn together collections of horse ribbons from pony club expeditions that started at ungodly hours in the morning?

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Carl Halvorsen, 1912-2014

18 Jul 2014

A life in boats shaping and crafting their construction from timber, a life on the water working with the waves, currents and wind – this was Carl Halvorsen’s remarkable century that came to a peaceful close just over a week ago.

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SY Ena is one of the finest Edwardian steam yachts in the world

ENA and the Dibbs family

28 Apr 2014

Late March and with the rain coming down in Sydney, the luxurious SY Ena played host to descendants of its original owner from 1900, Sir Thomas Dibbs. Fourteen relatives gathered in the museum foyer and then went down to see their patriarch’s pride and joy, fresh from a trial steaming on the Friday and eager to get out again.

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