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.
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.