East Gippsland Wooden Boat Association members had a great “putt-putt” weekend on April 16 and 17.

On Saturday a cruise up the Backwater was followed by a picnic lunch at the Port of Bairnsdale, and then a leisurely cruise up the Mitchell River in the afternoon. Fifteen people went to the Chinese restaurant in Bairnsdale for a lovely dinner, followed by an early night.


Sunday turned out to be a magnificent day and all the boats left the Butter Factory wharf for a delightful ride back home. Many local people attended, including Doug and Marion Gullickson with their two boats, Tahken, a steam boat, and Jabiru, a cabin cruiser. Also there were, Neville and Jenny Smith with their boat Arawa, a wooden cruiser built of King Billy Pine, Barry And Jenny North on Peace Train, John and Jacqui Nicholson with their open clinker dinghy The Laughing Jellyfish, Bernard and Matthew O'Kelly with Nelly T, an acorn wooden dinghy, Colin McArthur in Ibis, and Jim Whiting, who had a ride on Tahken. We were also delighted to welcome Malcolm McKay and his crew Eric Simes, who joined us from Narooma with Malcolm's boat, a two cylinder diesel.

We were very pleased to welcome people who had come so far to enjoy the Gippsland Lakes.

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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

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