By Ross Gillett
The Naval Heritage Collection (NHC) motorboat MB168 that served during WWII re-entered the waters of Sydney on 31 October 2012 after an extensive and successful refit.
MB168 was designed as a district naval officer’s launch, built at Garden Island in Sydney and launched in August 1936.
Restoration work carried out during the refit included the replacement of rotten timbers and corroded hull fastenings to restore hull strength and
electrical and propulsion work.
Traditional shipwright tools and techniques were used to shape and bend hull planks and sponsons to fit.
MB168 will continue as a working boat and be used for special events on the harbour.
Before being retired to the Naval Historical Collection, MB168 had a variety of roles in Sydney as VIP transport, the General Manager Garden Island’s boat, a survey launch, a miscellaneous motorboat based at HMAS Rushcutter and also supported the RAN Sailing Association.
Still RAN owned and operated, not ex-RAN.