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Enterprise slips back into lake after major works

FRIDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2003

The National Museum of Australia's resident paddlesteamer, the Enterprise, will be relaunched on Lake Burley Griffin on Monday after an intensive three-week overhaul.

A team of National Museum conservators and volunteers spent about 2000 hours cleaning and restoring the Enterprise, which is one of the world's oldest operational steam-powered vessels.

In the first major overhaul since the ship was acquired by the Museum, conservators found the metal-framed hull and many of its nuts and bolts were much older than expected.

"What we've uncovered is that the iron work in the hull seems to date from a 1905 refit when we had previously assumed the iron dated from the 1940s," senior conservator David Hallam said.

On Monday, the Enterprise will be slipped back into Lake Burley Griffin, with a dozen crew on board.

The fires in the boiler will be lit earlier in the day, so the ship can then steam back to its home jetty outside the National Museum.

WHAT: Paddlesteamer Enterprise relaunch
WHEN: 11am, Monday, 8 December
WHERE: Barrenjoey slipway, Lake Burley Griffin
Take Lady Denman Drive south, turn left on to Barrenjoey Road, with the slipway at the end of the road.

The Enterprise celebrated its 125th anniversary in September, after decades in service as a home and commercial vessel on the waters of the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Enterprise is open for public inspection next Sunday, 14 December from 11am to 3pm, and once a weekend during summer. Opening times are available by phoning 02 6208 5006.

For interviews or more information please contact Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or l.coleman@nma.gov.au .