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Periodic Vessel Survey

Victoria Star

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Following an illustrious 25-year career operating as a member of Sydney harbour’s iconic Lady Class ferries, the Lady Mckell was made redundant in 1993 and spent a period of 5 years abandoned in Rozelle Bay before she was acquired by Captain Leigh Doeg and dramatically transformed into the luxury cruise ship, Victoria Star.

On advice from his friend Mori Flapan, Captain Doeg back in 1998 looked at some of the available Lady Class boats and found them to be in poor condition. He did however decide to bid on the Lady McKell and after what he describes as an initial feeling of “oh what have I have done”, the Victoria Star has now been a large part of Leigh’s Life and Melbourne’s maritime history.

Captain Leigh Doeg joined Sydney Maritime Museum while at school, and from the age of 18 volunteered on the famous Polly Woodside for 7 years until 1978. He successfully lobbied Sydney Heritage Fleet to transfer the ST Wattle to Victoria in 1985 and was also the founder of the Bay Steamers Maritime Museum which brought together a dedicated team of enthusiasts to restore the Wattle back to steam.

He gained Master 5 Certificate in 1987, a Master 4 certificate in 1989 and departed ST Wattle in 1997 in search of a new adventure, that would have him look at some of the retired Sydney Ferries.

With a passion for heritage ships and a wealth of experience gained on restoration projects, the Lady McKell, which arrived in Melbourne on the 28th of August 1998, was beautifully transformed into a luxury cruise ship and renamed the Victoria Star before starting her new life as a passenger cruise vessel on Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra river.

Maritime Survey Australia surveyor Mick Uberti recently completed the periodic survey of the Victoria Star which being such a beautifully restored and well-maintained vessel, is a real credit to her owner and crew.

Rebuilding the vessel involved hull repairs, renewing the once rusted superstructure and decks, removing the aft wheelhouse and installing a modern, well equipped bar and galley. Great attention was paid to detail including the traditional rich timber panelling, red carpets and polished brass.

The extensive refurbishment has dramatically transformed the Lady McKell into the VICTORIA STAR – MELBOURNE’S CLASSIC CRUISE SHIP!

Visit to meet Leigh and the team and book a voyage, or phone Leigh or Fred on 0449 011 224 (Leigh Doeg) and 0407 009 293 (Fred Merryweather).

JVictoria Star Cruise Ship
Victoria Star Cruise Ship.
Lady McKell
Lady McKell.

Do you have a vessel that is due for its survey in accordance with its survey certificates?

Contact Maritime Survey Australia today to discuss your project requirements.

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Our Marine Surveyors are accredited with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), members of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and members of the certifying authority of the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS). We believe we have the most competitive rates offering the best value to Victorian commercial vessel operators. The benefits of using Maritime Survey Australia ensure that the vessel operator has to engage with only one company. Unlike many of our competitors, our Surveyors are experienced Marine Engineers, Masters and Naval Architects accredited for ALL categories including periodic electrical and communication meaning you do not need to engage with a third party to complete the survey. The survey is carried out accurately interpreting standards and guidelines, and applying rules and/or regulatory requirements.

The owner will be informed of any deficiencies discovered during the survey of a vessel that requires repair, replacement or action and will be recorded on a survey activity report, a copy of which will be given the owner or owner's representative at the time of the survey.

We will remain impartial in all of our business dealings, and we will never conduct business in a manner which could place our business integrity or impartiality at risk or question.