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

Member login

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