Old Digger
Boat Owner
James Gould

Boat found on the shore at Coles Bay 30 years ago by Sid Graham of Bicheno, who salvaged the wreck & displayed it on his front lawn. It was spotted by boating enthusiast, Barry Connell, who immediately saw the historical significance of the boat which he recognised as having been built at Gravelly Beach. Sid gave the boat to Barry who was keen to see its restoration however, due to ill health he reluctantly gave the boat back but stressed to Sid the value of the vessel and his hope that the boat would be restored. Sid contacted James Gould of Dover who had an interest in Couta boats & he agreed to buy Old Digger. When the boat arrived in Dover, James contacted the Franklin Wooden Boat Centre who, upon seeing the boat, agreed that historically she was worth restoring and with the keel in good shape reconstruction could go ahead Thanks to the craftsmanship of Peter and Florian and the enthusiasm of everyone at The Wooden Boat Centre, Old Digger has been bought back to life as original as possible. Thanks must also be extended to Greg Muir for the invaluable advice he was able to provide towards the reconstruction process. Also thanks to Greg Walsh of Bicheno for donating the masts from the legendary ketch,The Enterprise 1901, which adds to the history. We are still seeking any information on Old Digger, whose history was sadly lost upon the death of Barry Connell. We did question the name of the boat since soldiers of the First World War were referred to as diggers, which would date the boat around 1914. However in view of the boat having been built a short distance from the North East mine sites it is thought the boat’s name originated from the mine workers who were referred to as diggers. James was keen to showcase the intricate workmanship hence the boat being unpainted. After the boat show Old Digger will be painted and put on Esperance Bay.

LOD feet
Hull Timber
Couta boat
Type of Boat
Huon Pine