Boats Ashore

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Ian Smith

Boatbuilder and sailor Ian Smith built the replica of Sydney 18-Footer Britannia in 2002 as an exact replica of the original boat of 1919. The original boat still exists in the care of the Australian National Maritime Museum. Naval architects Alan and David Payne had taken the lines off the boat and Ian was able to use those lines as well as go over the boat to measure all parts in fine detail.
The original boat sailed with the Sydney Flying Squadron fleet of racing 18-footers for 25 seasons, often being the scratch boat and winning several championships. A few seasons after Wee Georgie retired the boat he converted it to a motor launch and took on the job of race starter in Britannia, temporarily he thought, and did it for the next 28 years. The significance of this long Association with the Sydney Flying Squadron is one of the main reasons Ian chose this boat to replicate. Ian and his crew of 9 or 10 have raced the boat every Summer Saturday since launching in October 2002. So the replica is now in its 17th season, and 2019 is the centenary year of the launch of the original. Big celebrations are planned for next October at the Sydney Flying Squadron.
The replica was built using the same timbers, Spotted Gum for the ribs and backbone, NZ Kauri for the seam battens and Australian Red Cedar for the planking, decking , transom, thwarts and centreboard case, with knees of Tea-Tree, all copper-fastened. The hull was planked using batten seam construction, the same method as used in the original boat as well as most of the other hundreds of racing open boats in Sydney from the late 19th Century until the early 1950’s. Ian used his records of the construction of the replica as the focus of his book The Open Boat, the Origin, Evolution and Construction of the Australian Eighteen Footef, published in 2017.
Britannia races with 5 different combinations of rig from the Number One rig which has 750 sq ft (70sqm) in main and jib (for light conditions) to the storm rig of a mere 300 sq ft.

Chris Craft
Christopher Hazell

Raced in Hobart by Dick Crawford
First displayed in the 1951 New York Boat Show, the London Boat Show and then the Melbourne Boat Show. The Chris Craft is a historical wooden racing boat in Tasmania.
Having been shown in both the New York and London Boat Shows before coming to Australia. Shown in the Melbourne Boat show before being purchased and brought to Tasmania by Mr. Harold Groome.
Later purchased by Mr. Bob Purdon and raced by Bob and Dick Crawford in Tasmania.
Dick Crawford famously won for 5 years the Memorial Trophy Race at Hobart Regatta in the Chris Craft, along with numerous other racing events.
The Chris Craft is currently undergoing restoration, undertaken by a well known Tasmanian Shipwright, the retired Adam Brinton, also well known for racing within the Tasmanian Boat Racing Circuit.

Michael Tuck

A very capable and seaworthy small boat. A Drascombe Lugger was built in the UK & sailed via the Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Malacca Straits and Arafura Sea to Australia in the late 1960’s by David Pyle & a companion. A wooden Drascombe Lugger was also trailered to Greece and sailed back to the UK in 1973 by Ken Duxbury & his wife.
This design and similar boats by the same designer have proven to be very popular in “”Raid”” type events in Europe and the UK. They are now built in FRP under licence.
This particular Drascombe Lugger has a few individual modifications. These include stainless steel centre-plate, rudder and rudder-stock; a boom is fitted for better sail shape & control; a spinnaker is also added to the sail inventory. An elliptical cockpit coaming is fitted rather than the straight-sided & square cornered one shown in the original plans.
The spars are all varnished Oregon pine and the trim is done in varnished Huon pine and also she-oak. The bottom boards are in varnished King Billy pine.

Graeme Broxam

Tamar’ class dinghies were common in Tasmania in the mid 20th century. In 1947 the Tamar Yacht Club (TYC) established the specifications for a general-purpose, lightweight centreboard dinghy that could be used for such diverse purposes as racing under sail, rowing, fishing or as a yacht tender. They were built from ‘modern’ materials (principally plywood on timber frames), measured 11 ft in length and 4 ft 6 inches beam and were hard-chined to simplify construction for amateur builders. They could be fitted with a small outboard motor as well as carrying a stem-head sloop rig for sailing and racing.

The design was a development of the earlier Devonport-based ‘Mersey’ class and the definitive drawings were prepared by 17 year-old trainee draftsman Graeme Titmus and based on the fourth boat built, SKUA. Plans were published in the ‘Examiner’ newspaper and kits of fittings could be purchased by amateur builders. More than 200 sailing ‘Tamar’ dinghies were built with sail numbers allocated by yacht clubs using them (especially Tamar and Bellerive), while many more were built for rowing or outboard motor propulsion.

DAMAR, a restored Tamar Dinghy previously owned by David and Margaret Barnes of the Lindisfarne Yacht Club and WBGT, was built by David Barnes around 1970-71. She carried a second-hand set of sails numbered 17 that evidently originated from T. L. Sward’s MARY M.

DAMAR was beautifully restored by Wooden Boat Guild member Graeme Nichols after many months of tender love and care. She required a complete strip back to bare wood which revealed some structural damage that has now been repaired. As a result she is in sailing condition and ready for members to use at our monthly outings.

Daniel Moore
David Edwards

I know very little about the history of this boat.

The previous owner was a man who lived in Darwin NT and owned the shack next door to our shack in Barton Avenue, Triabunna TAS 7190. He came in to see me one day (in 1990 I think) and asked if I would like to buy his boat. One look and I bought it, as he only wanted $300.

I tried using it that summer, but it leaked too much to be usable, even after I soaked it in Spring Bay for a week.

I have restored the boat by re-clinching all the copper rivets and stripping the paint from some of the top planks.

I have named it “Daniel Moore”, after my great great grandfather who was a Van Diemen’s Land convict with a Ticket-of-Leave living in the Spring Bay district when my great grandmother Emma Ann Moore was born in November 1851. Daniel died in March 1852, and on his death certificate his occupation was listed as “”Fisherman””.

“Daniel Moore” is mounted on a wooden cradle sitting in a wooden trailer, which is being towed by my wooden car – a 1963 Morris Minor Traveller.

The timber on the car is subject to wood rot – it is made from English Ash, but the King Billy pine in “”Daniel Moore”” is immune from that.

Deadman’S Revenge
David Taylor

I had wanted to build a strip planked wooden kayak since 1998, and in 2009, whilst having some English Oak milled, I was given the trunk of a California Redwood. I knew nothing about this timber and had no idea what I would use it for, but decided to have it milled anyway. However, some years later, on removing a board from the rack, I found the timber was extremely lightweight, very stable and had suffered no distortion during the drying process. At that point I decided that if I ever got around to building that kayak, this would be the timber that I would use.

Following the 2017 Australian Wooden Boat Festival, I decided that the time had come to either build a kayak or forget about the idea altogether. Over the next couple of months I researched a number of designs and finally settled on a Micro Bootlegger Sport designed by Nick Schade from Guillemot Kayaks. With just a slight rake to the stem and stern, this kayak has an almost full-length waterline, giving it good speed potential. With a bit of flare and relatively high sides, it has good stability, while still being narrow enough at the waterline to minimize how much water is disturbed. It has a transitioning chine that is rounded in front and hard behind. This allows for smooth progress into waves, while providing a positive control surface while under sail and paddling down wind for capable surfing. At 18kg, the finished weight is the same as the minimum allowable for a racing surf ski competing at Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships.

On 27th April 2017, I started setting up the strongback and forms and on 18th May, I laid up the first strips.

I machined the California Redwood planks to 20mm wide x 4.5mm thick. However, the finished thickness after fairing and sanding is only around 3mm, hence the need for the finished shell to be completely covered with a layer of fibreglass. In addition to added strength the fibreglass also seals the timber, thus preventing rot. The boat was then finished with four coats of marine varnish. I made the rudder from carbon Fibre and fibreglass.

On 19th January 2018, at last, the boat was finally launched.

I would like to acknowledge the help and guidance that I received from Graeme Cooksey who has built a number of strip plank kayaks. Graeme’s expertise was invaluable, particularly in the early stages of the boat’s construction.

Peter Deck

A great little cruising dinghy. Suits a solo sailor or a family of up to 4 or 5. A 2hp Honda outboard can be mounted on the transom bracket.

Ellipsis 4.5
Scott Blee

Ellipsis Boats was founded in 2017 by two Hobart based designer/builders with a clear intent; to create functional, minimal & stylish lifestyle products for pure enjoyment on the water

Our first model was the Ellipsis 4.5; a 4.5 meter (14.75 ft) recreational rowing skiff. It’s a minimal design, with a plumb bow to pierce waves, a high freeboard to stay dry and feel secure, and a faceted surface form that gives the hull great strength and stability.

It’s very innovative and goes and looks like no other sliding seat rowing skiff around.

The first Ellipsis 4.5 design prototype was built in 2017 out of 10mm corecell fibreglass, by the founders of Ellipsis Boats, Thierry Cueff and Scott Blee, and and was used as a full size test boat to perfect the detail and performance of developing a high-end carbon fibre production model for world wide sale, using a Kickstarter campaign to promote and seek funding.

The designer Scott Blee (founder, owner and designer of SABDES Yacht Design), was later approached by Hobart Shipwright Gordon Stewart to build and develop the first ever marine plywood kit version.

Ellipsis Boats decided to take on the challenge to then offer both a production version and kit version, keeping the end build result looking 99% as close as possible.

The end result and World Premiere is presented here at the WBF Hobart 2019!

The plywood version presented here was itself a simple build procedure, due to its flat hull panels, and faceted hull form, and absence of unnecessary detail. The beauty of the marine plywood enhancing the overall aesthetic, and bringing even more purity out of the design.

For more information visit

Expedition Sport
Daniel Brooks

The Expedition Sport is a medium-sized touring kayak designed by Vaclav Stejskal of One Ocean Kayaks ( It is designed for medium sized paddlers with an ideal paddler and gear capacity of 73kg (up to 91kg) and to be very efficient at typical paddling speeds. The stern deck rises a little from the shear line to provide a lot of storage capacity for overnight trips and the hull tapers to a keel at the stern, making it a strong-tracking boat.
The kayak was built between 2010 and 2014 in between moving several times around Sydney. The Finished Boat weighs around 20kg which is lighter than a lot of kevlar boats.
All timber is western red cedar which is very bendable even without steaming. A formwork was constructed which was then stripped with bead and cove cedar strips. An electric stapler is used to hold the strips in place whilst the glue dries (Titebond III glue was used).
After stripping is finished, the boat was split in half and the formwork removed. Inside and out were then fibre glassed. Fibreglass cloth and West System 105 epoxy resin was used on the inside with West System 207 Special Clear Hardener on the outside.
The cockpit coaming was formed using carbon fibre and the seat is made from minicell foam. Shock cords hold the hatch covers tight against a foam gasket on a composite hatch rim. The boat was finished using Interlux Perfection Plus two part varnish. Attaining a good finish was one of the hardest parts of the build.
Having not logged the number of build hours invested in the boat, the only estimation would be A LOT. Taking out moving four times from the equation, I would guesstimate at approximately two year’s worth of weekends. Having learnt from all my mistakes, I would hazard a guess that I could probably build another one in about three months, if I had the luxury of not working!!

Peter Schaeffer

I began building this Viking ship in my garage in 1998 from a plan in a book which I scaled down.
I unfortunately had to abandon it due to work and family.Then this year, with the help and encouragement (or ultimatum) of Geoff and Pete, I once more took up the challenge to recreate a Viking Faering, adapting it as I went in an effort to recreate the beautiful design and lines of the Viking craft I have admired for many years.””

Copper roved and bronze screwed, with Norwegian style sawn frames, the construction is as traditional as possible.

The deadline of the next AWBF was set as the last finish date acceptable to Jim’s friends

Friends footnote:
This boat is sure to steal attention when towed behind Jim’s lovely 24′ double ended carval yacht.

Graeme Broxam

Gordon (as recently named by her current owners) was donated to the Wooden Boat Guild of Tasmania by Laurie Harris (of Launceston) on 25 February 2010. The punt had been in Laurie’s ownership for about 30 years. It is believed that Gordon was previously used (with an outboard motor) by the Tasmanian Forestry Commission as a personnel transport for its staff on the Gordon River. It is believed that the punt was salvaged as a wreck from the Gordon River before Laurie purchased it. Gordon was accepted into the Australian Register of Historic Vessels at the ANMM on 15 October 2010.
Gordon was a roughly-built vessel with planks that are far from symmetrical on both sides, and a considerable variation in width at the stem in particular. She is considered to be representative of a commercial boat of her era with little in the way of refinement.
In 2016 the WBGT resolved that the restoration of Gordon would be its next major boat restoration project. The vessel will be restored to operational condition with as much of the original structure as possible preserved, but new planks fitted to replace those that are broken and/or (partly) missing, and extensive reribbing. The existing planking will be rendered watertight by splining, filling and sanding, and the finished vessel will be presented in a painted condition. Michael Staples’ plans will be used to coax the hull back to the lines that it is believed to have been built with. Physical work began in May 2017 and continued intermittently throughout the rest of that year and 2018.

Construction Notes:

• Clinker construction, seven planks per side, top plank doubled.
• Rib spacing on average 7” (180mm) centres.
• Some ribs are offset and cross over giving double ribs across the bottom of the punt.
• It is difficult to decipher the number of rowing stations as there are no rowlock blocks, although there are some visible fastening holes.
• GORDON was surveyed by Michael Staples in July 2010 using the traditional line lifting method, plans being drawn of the vessel “as is” and also with corrections allowing for changes in shape since new. A second survey was funded by a Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPP) grant sponsored by the National Maritime Museum of Australia to Peta Knott of the Maritime Museum of Tasmania.

On 15 March 2010 GORDON was surveyed electronically at the Mariner’s Cottage car-park, Battery Point by Peta Knott and Dougal Harris for the Maritime Museum of Tasmania. The collected data was used as the basis for plan (1) that follows. In July 2010 GORDON was delivered to Mike Staples’ workshop at Cygnet to be surveyed by traditional methods to allow comparison with electronic survey. Mike Staples produced a plan (2) of the vessel “as is” and another plan (3) faired to compensate for the extent that the punt had lost its original shape over the years. These plans have been published in a book THETASMANIAN PINERS’ PUNT – THEIR HISTORY AND DESIGN.

King Billy
Steve Brown

Last dinghy built by William (Bill) Brown (dec). Bill built several of these cavel style dinghys in his garage/workshop in Rose Ay, Tasmania,As mentioned above, this is last dinghy built by Bill Brown. One of his sons, Trevor Brown, has had the dinghy since the 1980s. The dinghy was taken to Queensland by Trevor for several years before returning to Tasmania in the 1990s. The dingy was originally painted but was stripped back to bare timber in 2016. One of Trevor’s sons, Steve, has restored the dinghy to its present condition.

Des Clark

Larus is an 18ft Scruffy Stornaway Weekender, hard chined and designed along the lines of an English workboat. She is craftsman built.Stornaways were designed along the lines of traditional English fishing boats capable of sailing just under jib & mizzen in winds up to 30 knots. This boat was fitted to a very high standard with a revised rig designed by Steve Walker Sails to suit Tasmanian conditions.
She is powered by a six-horse power Yamaha axillary outboard and happily motors at six knots.
The boat sails beautifully and because of it’s shallow draft can negotiate low tidal waters.
Her Oregon masts are easily rigged by one person with the specialised, mast raising crane. She supports a Genoa, Jib, Marconi Mainsail and Gunter Rigged Mizzen. Both headsails are on foilers.
Anchoring and reefing can be performed from the safety of the main cabin.

Mini Simmons
Craig Ludlow

This was my first solo build after attending a Tree to Sea workshop in Victoria.

Miss Doherty
Ian Nicolson

Some piners punts were carvel built, so Miss Doherty is made from Plywood planks joined using the stitch and glue method. In 1975 we moved to The West Coast and became fascinated by the Piners Punts. Sometimes we visited a Mrs Doherty at Strahan. It was only later that we realized the significance of her name in relation to punt building at Strahan. At Strahan I also purchased a few pieces of Huon Pine at the sawmill and some of this is incorporated in “”Miss Doherty’s gunwale.

Miss Twinkle
Ian Nicolson

Miss Twinkle is clinker built built from plywood strakes (planks), which were glued and temporarily stitched together with copper wire.We just desperately needed a convenient light dinghy, that would fit into the back of our van for those “special” occasions.