Built by enthusiastic first-timers, this simple pleasure craft has already given us great joy. We still hope to enjoy many hours rowing & drifting ! The idea of building a boat was planted when my son, Jesse Wagner, was clearing up at his S.A. Boatshed “ Goolwa Wooden Boats “and he found the half-finished stations for the mould, and the instruction book “ Rip,Strip, and Row ! A Builder’s guide to the Cosine Wherry “ by J.D Brown.
Jesse had built many beautiful boats by that time, and insisted that it was time the “old man “ had a go.
I have been a custom furniture maker for many years in Beechworth, and had a fully equipped woodworking shop, but I had never built anything designed to float on water!
So, years later, with patient assistance from Jan, making and fitting all the strips, hours of sanding and fibreglassing, we eventually brought her half-finished to Tasmania, where we found Jeremy Clowes and Cygnet Wooden Boats, who watched over the final stages of assembly with occasional encouragement and advice.
The inspiration of being among real shipwrights and boaties, and living in this magical part of Tassie, between Cygnet Bay and the Huon River, made it imperative to get this little boat finished and launched !
So…Here she is, and indeed, she floats ! Right side up ! And rows beautifully!
The name “Scarbro” is in memory of Jan’s great-great-great grandfather Joseph Wright, who came to Australia on
“Scarborough “ with the First Fleet.
Arch Davis has a unique method of boat design. This is a lapstrake dinghy, but instead of having traditional, cross frames, there are longitudinal frames “”stringers”” on each chine. While she has traditional styling, she’s been built with modern techniques and Eqoxy glue.
I built this boat when I was a teenager. At the time, Dad, my older brother and I pooled resources, expanded the shed and bought some more tools, and we simultaneously built a boat each. (Dad, a 16ft strip plank canoe, my brother a 23ft Mahogany Runabout) Both of those boats are in QLD and won’t be able to enter in the AWBF. At the time, we were the talk of the town, as we were on top of a hill in a country town 2 hours from the nearest coast. There were plenty of jokes involving Noah’s Ark etc.
Selah is designed and built as a sail/row boat, but when i had a young family, sailing became impractical and unsafe with babies, so I modified the transom to hold a small outboard. These days’ my eldest son (9 years) loves sailing as much as I do, and this boat gets as much use now as she ever did. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in ten years time, he will have his own beautiful boat to display in your festival.
I’ve been involved in several small wooden boat regattas over the years (Tweed River Classic, and Bribie Island classic boat regatta).
The eight-oared cedar rowing shell “Tasmania”, was built by Melbourne boat builders A & E Edwards, for the 1926 Interstate Eight-Oared Championship of Australia.
Rowed over the three-mile Hamilton Reach course in Brisbane on Saturday, May 8, 1926, the Tasmanian crew beat South Australia by a length in a time of 15 minutes and 43 seconds, with Victoria ¾ of a length further back, and Queensland fourth, two lengths behind. New South Wales did not finish.
After the race, the shell was housed and rowed at the Longford Rowing Club, and on the demise of that club moved to the North Esk Rowing Club. It fell into disuse in the 1950s as newer boats were acquired.
Roger Fowler, who was a member of the North Esk Rowing Club and who worked at the Boag’s Brewery saved the boat by putting it up in the beams of the old malt store there.
“Tasmania” has subsequently been accommodated at the Riverside Rowing Club, then moved with that clubs equipment to the Tamar Rowing Club, then to a shed on Roger Fowler’s son Darryl’s Riverside property before it was restored and took pride of place in the QVMAG’s Inveresk Sporting Gallery where it remained until 2018.
With QVMAG looking to revise its display area and its capacity to mount different exhibitions, “Tasmania” was again looking for a home. Recognising the significance of this 94-year-old shell, Rowing Tasmania has made space available at Lake Barrington International Rowing Course to ensure the safe storage of the boat.
“Tasmania” is significant for a number of reasons – to wooden boat enthusiasts for its traditional cedar veneer construction and intricate spars and bracing and the design and construction of it “staterooms” (rowing stations); to the Tasmanian rowing community as the boat in which Tasmania last won the Interstate Eight-Oared Race for the King’s Cup; and for the community at large, as an example of the type of boat rowed at the Royal Henley Peace Regatta in 1919, at which the AIF Number One Crew won the gold cup commissioned as the prize for the winning crew by King George the Fifth.
The winning 1919 crew included two Tasmanians – Fred Robb and Arch House, both from the Derwent Rowing Club – now the Derwent Mercantile Collegiate Rowing Club. To mark the Centenary of Australia winning the King’s Cup, Rowing Australia and Rowing Tasmania have arranged for the trophy itself to be displayed at this wooden boat festival and the Royal Hobart Regatta Association is holding a special wooden eights race to coincide with the Centenary of the King’s Cup and the 2019 AWBF.
TASSIE TOO was launched from the Battery Point slips on 26 November 1927 having been built by Charlie Lucas and Chips Gronfors. The vessel was commissioned by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (RYCT) and paid for by subscription to allow a second Tasmanian boat to compete for the hotly contested Forster Cup. TASSIE TOO was designed by Skipper Batt, with assistance from Alfred Blore and John Tarleton. All three had collaborated on the first TASSIE and again combined to draw the plans needed to construct the hull of TASSIE TOO to Skipper Batt’s lines lifted from his model. The first TASSIE was built on a shoestring budget, and rushed together for the 1925 Forster Cup series, which it won convincingly. It then repeated the wins in 1926 and 1927. This encouraged the Tasmanians to build a second boat, but in more organised circumstances. The RYCT raised the funds by subscription and TASSIE TOO was launched in November 1927. It was made ready for the Sydney series, held in early 1928, which it won, skippered by Harry Batt it won. The original TASSIE finished second at the event.
TASSIE TOO is planked in Huon pine on hardwood frames as specified in the class rules, and features a pivoting centreboard – a detail introduced to the class by the Tasmanians. The centreboard was also designed to flex when sailing upwind. The thought was that this would create more lift and improve the yacht’s windward abilities. The round-bilge hull shape was designed to be at its best in heavy conditions, but it performed well in all conditions. It was considered an extreme design by other sailors in the class.
TASSIE TOO was skippered by Harry Batt again in 1929 and 1930, N. Winzenberg in 1930 and 1931, Skipper Batt in 1934, 1935 and 1936, Harry Batt in 1937, Skipper Batt in 1938, A. K. Ward in 1939, Neall Batt in 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950, Ediss Boyes in 1951 and Neall Batt in 1952. It won the Forster Cup in 1928, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1952; a statistic unmatched by any other vessel. The original TASSIE won the event in 1925, 1926, 1927 and 1929. A third boat, TASSIE III, was built by Charlie Lucas at Battery Point in 1929, based on a model by Skipper Batt with plans drawn by P. C. Douglas, but it only triumphed over TASSIE TOO at the Forster Cup on two occasions (in 1931 and 1938). Plans were made for a TASSIE IV, a half model at the RYCT shows the hull shape, but the vessel was never built.
TASSIE TOO was also very successful with seven wins in the Albert Gold Cup race, an event that preceded the Forster Cup series on the calendar. Six of these wins were in succession from 1947 to 1952.
The “Franklin” design was based on a 14ft punt formerly owned by retired piner Frank White of Strahan. The original was of unusual in being double-skinned, with a canvas layer between the two layers of planking. According to White there were others with this construction: it is however unclear if they were built this way, or “doubled” in their old age to prolong their lives. In White’s punt the inner planking was worn down almost to the canvas interlayer through the regular use of an enamel dish as a bailer. “Franklin” is a conventional clinker-built boat with a fairly robust vertical keel.
Adrian Dean served his apprenticeship as a wooden boatbuilder with Jock Muir of Hobart, and from 1967 worked as a teacher in craftwork and outdoor education as well as a professional designer specialising in sea kayaks. He was a consultant in the design of the sail-training ships Leeuwin and One and All in the 1980s. In 1992 he began working at the Wooden Boat Centre at Franklin, and it was during this time that he designed “Franklin”. The name is something of a double-entendre with the region for which the boats were well-known on the West Coast, as well as the region where he now worked (and, coincidentally, around which the type was probably developed). In 1997 he built a much larger punt, the 19ft Princess (see No. 20).
TEEPOOKANA (named after the former port at the entrance to the King River east of Strahan) was an early project of the then-recently formed Wooden Boat Guild of Tasmania. She was built to a very high standard, and her keel batten in particular is somewhat thicker than traditional west coast punts. TEEPOOKANA has been in continual use as a recreational vessel by the Guild at its events, on display at events such as the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, and on a semi-commercial basis as a film prop.
This rare Tasmanian has led a fortunate life, spending her first half century criss-crossing Hobart’s Derwent River and Melbourne’s Hobson Bay, but rarely getting wet. As a lifeboat she sat under canvas on the steam ferry S.S. Rosny, that was built by Frederick & Harry Moore at Kennedy’s Shipyard, Battery Point, and launched on 26 July 1913. Photographs in the Maritime Museum of Tasmania confirmed the lifeboat’s provenance: her proportions, lines, strakes and distinctive bow roundels. The clinker-build construction is Huon pine, with Blue gum keel and stems, the design being that of a traditional River Derwent utility workboat prior to the advent of compact marine engines. She’s a 15ft double-ender with plumb stems, flat sheer, and the 5ft 6in beam has the three beams to length hull ratio for good carrying power and seaworthiness. Three thwarts accommodate a total of four oarsmen, two off-set, and her flat keel and barn-door rudder enable pulling onto shore. In 1964 the 18th Launceston Sea Scouts [today’s 1st Tamar Sea Scout Group] launched her into a new career, as a training-cutter. They fitted a daggerboard, Sliding-Gunter rig with stem-mounted headsail, and she sails nicely. In her 100th year the current owner, Russell Kenery, gave her an overhaul, stripping her down to bare timber. Although her strakes were sound some dings were filled with epoxy, a little rot in her stems was cut out and made good, and she was completely re-caulked. The hull was recoated in two-part polyurethane, traditional White exterior and Cumberland Stone interior. As she had no name and given only four letters would fit the roundels on the bow, she was called TRIM after Matthew Flinders’ seafaring cat. The Australian National Maritime Museum has listed TRIM on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels (number HV000596), based on significance, completeness, provenance and rarity.