Article by Kelvin Aldred and Paul D’Olier
For over 25 years now, the banks of the beautiful Huon River in Franklin, Tasmania, has been home to the Wooden Boat Centre of Tasmania. A place where the maritime heritage of traditional wooden boat building has been expanded and explored. This year brings a new set of students back through the doors, ready to learn and acquire new skills to handcraft their own marine projects and beautiful dinghies. The quality of the product that exits the Centre has been known for over 25 years as being some of the best in the business and we are excited to be inviting Visitors into the Centre to see this quality.
Wonderful viewing and live experiences await visitors to the AWBF’s Maritime Trail in April with the Wooden Boat Centre of Tasmania opening its doors as part of the guided tours. Clinker dinghies in various stages of completion will be on display, visitors will also witness the completion of the Franklin 29 motor cruiser.
Five new students commenced this week under the experienced tutor and Shipwright Cody, to build a French designed 4.4m ILUR dinghy, to be planked in famous Huon Pine from the West Coast of Tasmania. The owner of the ILUR sailing dinghy, Jean-Pierre, has sailed from Victoria in his yacht for the three month course for the construction of the new design.
Maritime Trail visitors will see four other dinghies under construction at the Centre and will be welcomed by many new volunteers eager to ensure visitors enjoy their experience and lasting memories. 12 new one year students will also be acquiring their boat building skills ahead of their major boat construction. The Centre also features a gift shop and museum,
The Wooden Boat Centre welcomes the opportunity to show visitors the inner workings of the Boat Centre in April and showcase the skills of traditional wooden boat building, alive and growing on the banks of the Huon River, the home of the construction of our most famous Tasmanian Trading Ketch of 20 meters, the May Queen, built on the site in 1867.
Don’t forget, while you’re in Franklin, you will have the opportunity to row, sail and motor on the Huon River with the Living Boat Trust, who will have their dinghies and skiffs available for use. Check out the latest information on their Tawe Nunnugah 2021 – Tasmanian Raid here too. Franklin will certainly be the place to be during the AWBF’s Maritime Trail 2021. The full AWBF Maritime Trail 2021 program will be available in March, stay tuned.