View photos by WBA members

Photos by Richard Jefferis.

View photos by our members

Photos from the 2010 "Meet the Neighbours" day - a friendly competition between the WBA and Albert Park Yacht Club.

Photos by Tim Gay.

Photos by Tim Gay.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Derek Williams.

Photos by Jenny Stott.

Photos by Peter Batchelor.

Photos by Peter Batchelor and Jenny Stott.

Photos by Peter Batchelor.

I mentioned recently to a friend of mine, now living interstate, but who is well acquainted with Douga, that our Club Night on 23rd June, 2010 featured a talk by Dugga Beazley.  “Well that’s an evening with a National Living Treasure,” was the response, and I believe along with others I know, that is an apt description of the man.

Paynesville boat builder and WBA member, James Frecheville was interviewed by ABC Gippsland in January.

Read the story, and listen to the interview here.

Curlip earlier in the build

Paddle Steamer Curlip II is a replica of an historic paddle steamer of the Snowy River, in Far East Gippsland, Victoria.

A community project, her construction has utilized the traditional skills of wooden boat builders, and thousands of hours of volunteer labour. From December 2008 she will operate as a cruise vessel on the Snowy River Estuary exploring the natural and cultural heritage of this hidden gem of south east Australia.

The Curlip on the Snowy Festival, held Friday 28 to Sunday 30 November 2008, was written up in the December 2008 issue of Shavings, the WBA newsletter. Visit our Image Gallery for photos from the weekend.

Well known Mordialloc boat builder Jack Pompei OAM died of a heart attack on Tuesday 30 December 2008.

Wooden Boat Festival, Hobart, 2009

Several members of the WBA were in Hobart for yet another fantastic festival. Some flew, others sailed, but all had a great time!

David and Jenny Stott, Graham Signorini, Brian Flewell-Smith, Max and Elaine Wilson, Russell and Jenny Jones, and Peter, Kirsty, Amelia and William Batchelor were there from Melbourne, and there were probably more.  At least 15 East Gippsland members also attended.

See photos from the 2009 Festival

Begonia on the beachSo what are we to say of it?

A Soldier's reach in both directions with no splashes but Begonia bustling along at near her best most of the time. An early arrival home and my lady happy.

All too easy?

Well, yes it was – and let me tell you of one little incident that highlighted the trip.

Let me tell you about Samson the swan.

Arthur Ransome is probably best remembered as the author of the children's adventure series Swallows and Amazons. But the innocent world of those wholesome tales set in Britain's Lake District are in stark contrast to Arthur Ransome's earlier incarnation as a British spy and apologist for the Bolsheviks.

WBA members from Melbourne and East Gippsland enjoyed a fantastic weekend on the Gippsland Lakes recently.
Richard Monfries has compiled a video of some of the weekend's activities, and Tony and Linda Remington have provided a written report of the weekend's activities.

Capsize drillThe Rye sailing day was an exciting one for Amelia and William, for a number of reasons. We got to snorkle around large clusters of Spider Crabs – often piled up to 10 crabs deep. The largest group was perhaps 5 metres across. Apparently related to breeding, the largest aggregation reported in Port Phillip (back in 2005) was the size of a football field!

We also saw a pod of dolphins swimming down the bay, but at that time we were a little busy – this was the day that we had chosen to perform a capsize drill!

AJ MacKinnon, author of The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow, entertained a large crowd at our May club night.

Proving to be as entertaining in person as he is in the printed word, Sandy enthralled everyone with his ability to see the humour in every situation he found himself in. He regailed WBA members and guests with stories of his epic voyage in a Mirror dinghy, through the United Kingdom, across the English Channel, through many countries in Europe, to the Black Sea, and the response to this evening has been one of universal acclaim! Many people laughed until they cried, and dozens went home with a copy of Sandy's book to read, and hopefully share with others.

WBA Shavings Editor, Richard Monfries recently spent a week sailing Begonia at Mallacoota, and made a video of the experience.

The WBA had a strong presence at the innaugral Melbourne Wooden Boat Festival.

In 1802, Matthew Flinders explored and charted the coastline of Terra Australis in the leaking and rotten-timbered sailing ship the Investigator.

In March of that year, Flinders and the French explorer Nicholas Baudin almost literally bumped into each other in Encounter Bay, South Australia.

Flinders and Baudin’s chance meeting in early 1802 gave the name to a historical re-enactment and program of festivities in that very bay exactly 200 years later, aptly named Encounter 2002.

Early in 2002, as a volunteer crew on Melbourne’s tall ship Enterprize, I was an active participant in the re-enactment of Flinders’ exploration of the coast of South Australia. This was my first foray into crewing on a tall ship for fourteen continuous days, at times out of sight of land, as we planned to follow faithfully in Flinders’ footsteps.

Read the rest of Richard Monfries' article at

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Join the WBA

Membership is open to all wooden boat enthusiasts. Many members own boats, others do not, but all enjoy the chance to get together and "muck about with boats". Their boats include rowing boats, putt-putts, radio controlled models, pond yachts, canoes, kayaks, steam-powered boats, sailing dinghies, dayboats and ocean-going yachts.

The Wooden Boat Association is based in Melbourne, with regular sailing days scheduled on Albert Park Lake, as well as other venues around Melbourne, and at least one weekend each year elsewhere in the state.

Especially welcome is the first-time wooden boat builder or restorer, who can expect to receive ample advice and assistance in getting their dream onto the water.

Benefits of Wooden Boat Association Membership 

  • Become part of a friendly and sociable group of people with a common interest in wooden boats.
  • Receive Shavings, a monthly newsletter bringing timely news about events and activities in Victoria.
  • Regular meetings with a wide range of interesting speakers and activities. Our usual venue is the Albert Park Yacht Club, with visits to other venues from time to time.
  • Monthly sailing days, on Albert Park Lake and other locations close to Melbourne.
  • Use of the Association's own boats, two traditional sailing boats, Begonia and Lindsay Symons, our canoe Stringybark, and our extremely rare Port Philip 12.
  • Access to the Association's extensive library of boatbuilding and other nautical books.
  • Companionship with sister associations in other states

Join the WBA now