Jessica Watson’s Pink Lady left to rot at museum

 

Ella's Pink Lady, the yacht Jessica Watson sailed around the world as a teenager, is now worth a fraction of the price paid by the State and Federal Governments.

Sources told The Sunday Mail, the yacht, which cost $300,000 in 2011 and was entrusted to the Queensland Maritime Museum, had mould in the cabin and was leaking.

It has been moved from an undercover shed into the open and a replica cabin built by volunteers has been mothballed.

It's the latest in a series of bad news for the QMM, which is facing permanent closure after a $100,000 cyber attack, a workplace bullying compensation payout, closure during COVID and the resignation of CEO Emma Di Muzio, who is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Adrian Seiffert, director of Marine Auctions and Valuations said the Pink Lady was no longer worth $300,000.

"It has been out of the water for some period and I believe the vessel could be in poor condition, and not worth a lot of money in its present condition," he said.

"I do not think that there would be any potential buyers, even as the vessel was sailed around the world by Jessica Watson, who would be prepared to pay a premium for the yacht."

He said he knew of a 1973 Sparkman & Stephens 34 foot yacht under offer in Adelaide at an asking price of $44,500 but it was in a reasonably good condition.

"There are various other S & S 34s currently on the market, ranging from 1970 to 1980 at asking prices from $46,500 to $75,000," he said.

Ella's Pink Lady has been left to deteriorate, insiders say.
Ella's Pink Lady has been left to deteriorate, insiders say.

In 2014, a team of museum volunteers was given a grant to build a cover over the Pink Lady and Freedom, an Atlantic Rowing Race Boat, which was rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in a challenging race in 2001 by doctors Patrick Weinrauch and Paul McCarthy, the first Australians to achieve this feat.

"Will protect these historic vessels from the elements and give our visitors a better viewing platform," the museum said in a Facebook post that year.

In a statement the museum said the Pink Lady was in line for repainting and that the "mock-up cabin" was begun as part of a bigger project to mark 10 years since Jessica Watson completed her solo round-the-world trip.

"QMM was due to host the Australian Maritime Museum Council conference in May, and fees from that event were budgeted towards restoring an interactive cabin, particularly so children could get a sense of Jessica's experience at sea," the statement said.

"COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the event, and the cancellation of Jessica's planned appearance. Therefore QMM could not proceed with the full cabin build at that time. It is being stored safely for future completion."

More than 7000 people have signed a Change. Org petition supporting the museum becoming a part of the Queensland Museum Network.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Jessica Watson's Pink Lady left to rot at museum

Ella's Pink Lady has been left to deteriorate, insiders say. Picture: Jamie Hanson
Ella's Pink Lady has been left to deteriorate, insiders say. Picture: Jamie Hanson


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