Prospectus now available for 2 year Wooden Boatbuilding: Craft Career Course

We are pleased to launch the Prospectus for our Craft Career Course that will begin next year, after the Australian Wooden Boat Festival.  The course will cover most aspects of wooden boatbuilding and give students significant experience working in a wooden boatbuilding shed alongside experienced boatbuilders/shipwrights working in industry.  

For more information See or call Anne on + 61 3 6266 3586

Student places are competitive and open till 14th December 2018.

Annual General Meeting - Franklin Working Waterfront Association



Annual General Meeting

Is to be held at Franklin Primary School on Sunday 23rd September 2018 at 2pm


Confirm Minutes of 2017 AGM

Annual Reports

Changes to Constitution by Special Resolution

Election of Office Bearers

(Nominations close at 5pm on 13th September, 2018

Nomination forms available at the Wooden Boat Centre)

Appointment of Auditor

General Business

You can support your local community and the Wooden Boat Centre by joining  the Franklin Working Waterfront Association.  Membership is only $10 per annum.

Membership forms are available at The Woden Boat Centre



Canadian Canoe Raffle Winner Drawn

Anne Holst, Manager of the Wooden Boat Centre and Pete Heading, Shipwright and the builder of the Canadian Canoe 

Anne Holst, Manager of the Wooden Boat Centre and Pete Heading, Shipwright and the builder of the Canadian Canoe 

On Monday we drew the winning ticket in our Canadian Canoe Raffle ....... Congratulations to Steve Laidlaw from Nelson Bay in New South Wales.  Thank you to all who participated in this our first raffle.  Your support is very much appreciated as we continue our work to preserve the craft of wooden boat building.  Thank you also to Jen Tubman, Master Ticket Seller and to Dennis Muscovitch and Richard Forster, who volunteered their time to help Pete Heading with the build.

Jen Tubman and Anne Holst call the winner.

Jen Tubman and Anne Holst call the winner.

Greg Guy Remembered by John Young


Last Friday evening we gathered in the boat shed to remember our colleague and friend Greg Guy, who died just one year ago.  John Young, founder with his wife, Ruth, of the Wooden Boat Centre gave the following address.

" About a year ago we all knew that |Greg was about to die, so we decided to have a wake with him, while he was still with us. I was asked to help us remember what a "man for all seasons" he was, with his integrity, his sense of purpose, his energy and leadership, from which his country, his state, and his region, the Huon Valley, and his own final community in Franklin had received enormous benefits.

His response, in the shadow of his own death, was an extraordinary demonstration of cool courage and thinking.  He thanked us all for the opportunities which arise, in small communities for "making a difference".

First as a distinguished Marine artist, then as Chairman of the Huon Arts group, and the Lovett Gallery in Cygnet, then as the Tasmanian representative on the committee of the Australian Society of Marine Artists. He was also an eminent artist himself.

After moving to Franklin from Deep Bay for domestic reasons,and thanks Lyn, for bringing him here, he took on the difficult job of chairing the Franklin Working Waterfront Association, and keeping the boat school in the hands of the Franklin community.

As a casual member of staff Greg ran courses on a range of disciplines from tying knots to general nautical knowledge, boat building, and coastal navigation.  For years he used his teaching abilities and his historical understanding to act as an inspirational tour guide.

He was an important part of the foundation process of the Working Waterfront Association. He put a lot of energy into devising its constitution and defing its purposes.They include:the revival of a unique, two year, Associate degree in traditional wooden boat building,providing public nautical education.

He designed a small slipway for a vital course on repair and maintenance of small displacement vessels and also to provide local employment and gain income for the school.

He concluded his speech by reminding us of our constitutional commitment to build a Merchant Schooner.

Greg told me, shortly before he died, that when he recovered from cancer, he would again stand for election to the Franklin Working Waterfront committee.

We cannot replace him.  But we can be informed by his vision for the future, of Franklin and Tasmania, for which we are all collectively responsible."

John Young  17 August 2018. 


Skin On Frame Kayak Course


Have you ever dreamed of building and owning your own Skin on Frame Kayak? Are you free for a week in September?  We have vacancies in our September Course from 24th to 29th. You will make a fully sea ready kayak with Greenland paddle in just six days.   The course fee is just $2750 and includes all your materials and tuition.  The experience is, of course, priceless.    Call 03 62663586 or email   to book your place.  


Job Vacancy at the Wooden Boat Centre

Lead Instructor Wooden Boatbuilding

The Wooden Boat Centre is seeking an experienced wooden boatbuilder to lead a 2 year ‘non – accredited ’training course in all aspects of the craft of wooden boatbuilding.  It is expected that the successful applicant will provide excellence in educational delivery to adult students, professional and technical advice and expertise in all aspects of wooden boatbuilding and restoration.

Employment type: 24-month contract with potential for contract extension.  The successful candidate will enjoy 8 weeks personal leave pro rata. 

(This position has a 12 week probationary period to assess employee suitability and ensure adequate student numbers in the 2 year training course).

Essential Criteria:

  • Extensive wooden boatbuilding knowledge, skills and experience in new builds and heritage restoration work;
  • Excellent small group instructional skills for quality learning experiences;
  • Proven ability to work independently or as part of a multidisciplinary teams;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Sound judgement in the application of technical skills and instructional practice;
  • A track record of encouraging successful engagement and individual/team project completion within identified timeframes;
  • Membership (formal or informal) of local, national and/or international wooden boat building and/or instructional networks;
  • Excellent organisational skills and attention to detail;
  • Demonstrated team player with a mature, professional approach combined with a positive attitude;
  • Experience working within a challenging and busy working environment. 

Applications close:  5 pm, 21st September 2018

For further information contact: Anne Holst on M:0456 071 377 or email


Canadian Canoe Raffle - Don’t Miss Out


Our Canadian Canoe raffle is coming to an end in a little over a fortnight.  If you have been putting off buying your tickets now is the time to act.  We would hate for you to be disappointed.  Pop in and see us or order your tickets by eftpos over the phone or send us a cheque.  We will be delighted to receive your support to continue our quest to preserve the heritage and skills of wooden boat building.  The Canoe also comes with free delivery to anywhere is Australia.

Greg Guy 27/9/1947 - 14/8/2017 Gone But Not Forgotten - A Year On


The Wooden Boat Centre would like to invite Greg's friends t come and share your stories of a life well live by a man well loved.

Venue - The Wooden Boat Centre  3333 Huon Highway Franklin

Date -  Friday 17th August from 4:30PM

Drinks and Nibbles are on the menu but we would love you to bring a plate to share as well.

RSVP - The Wooden Boat Centre     Ph. 03 62663586 or  Email -


Building an Ian Oughted designed 'Puffin' - call for students for this course

An Oughtred 'Puffin' at a boat show in the US

An Oughtred 'Puffin' at a boat show in the US

We will run a 6 week course beginning on the 4th March 2019 to build a 'Puffin'.  The dinghy uses clinker building technique, will be constructed of Huon Pine and will be for sailing as well as rowing.  Tuition for this course will be: $3,600, completion of the course is the 12th April.  If you would like to be one of the participating students please enrol through our course booking form.  Additional information available through our contacts or phone:03 6266 3586

Wharf power, courtesy of a Huon Vally Council grant

power supply and switchboard fishing wharf.JPG

The Wooden Boat Centre (WBC) sucessfully sought a 'Community Action Grant' of $3000 from the Huon Vally Council in late 2017.  This grant project was designed to "get the working back on the waterfront'.  It allowed the WBC to contract an electrician to install power to both the North Wharf and Fishing Wharf.  The project was supported by Francis Shepherd, Christina Kent, Pete Shimeld, Bob Tubman and Gerard Burke who ran the wiring and conduit and made the power boxes to specification provided by the electrician.  

This project will allow us to offer 'working on water' wharfage to the local and wider boating community.  We plan to have an official launch of the new facilities in September.  Watch this space for dates and times.  

power supply north wharf.JPG

"One morning...."

                                          Peggy and Adrian Dean and Dr Dick Geeves

                                          Peggy and Adrian Dean and Dr Dick Geeves

One morning last week I looked out into the workshop from our display area and to my delight saw Adrian  Dean, the Wooden Boat Centre's  first teacher, with his wife Peggy and Adrian's first student, Dr Dick Geeves. The love of wooden boats and building them obviously keeps you young.


“Pona” is currently owned by Bob and James Tyson and families.  She was built in 1928 by Ned Jack of Launceston for  R.A. Perrin, (great uncle of Bob and James), to a Morgan Giles design using Huon pine planking and ribs on a hardwood keel.  Several sailing dinghies were built for Low Head families by Ned Jack during the 1920’s and competed in a summer racing series as the lagoon Bay dinghies. Pona is one of the few left.

Pona on arrival at the Wooden Boat Centre

Pona on arrival at the Wooden Boat Centre

Pona’s ownership transferred to Cecil Woodruff (daughter of RA Perrin) and in the 1950’s to Geoff Tyson, father of Bob and James.

Pona went ashore and suffered serious damage in the 1940’s, as a result of which one side was built with double ribs. John Philip replaced  the decks in the early 1970’s and Martin Rosemann replaced the keel in the early 1980’s.

On December 17 2017 PONA came off her moorings at Low Head and went onto a rocky part of the Lagoon Beach where she was stove in several places.  She is now under repair at the Wooden Boat Centre and we expect her to be on the water once more before years end.

Skin On Frame Kayak Course

We have had a cancellation in our September Skin on Frame Kayak course.  Have you been thinking of building your own kayak and paddle?  Do you have a spare week in September? We would love you to join us.  The course is from 24th September to 29th September and will cost $2750 for your tuition, kayak and paddle.  Please call us on 03 62663586 or email to book your place.


New Roof

Over the past week, with the help of a grant secured by Julie Collins, our local federal Labor Member for Franklin, we have installed a new roof over our first workshop.  We are now much warmer and definitely drier on rainy days.  Thank you to our amazing roofing team led by Ned Toombes and Graeme Rankin.   

Under construction

Under construction

Finished !!!!!

Finished !!!!!

Blue sky through the open roof ...... a rare sight these past foggy weeks!

Blue sky through the open roof ...... a rare sight these past foggy weeks!

Ski Boat Update


The 1960's ski boat kindly donated to the Wooden Boat Centre by Don Stratton, has been purchased and is now being lovingly restored in the workshop by its new owner.    It has been stripped and Ned is now involved in the arduous process of removing all the paint to check the condition of the timbers.  It is certainly a work of love and we look forward to its rebirth.

Sonia Shimeld - Volunteer Award

                               Peter Shimeld  Sonia Shimeld  Julie Hinks

                               Peter Shimeld  Sonia Shimeld  Julie Hinks

Sonia Shimeld, the very hard working treasurer of Franklin Working Waterfront Association,  received a Certificate of Appreciation at the Volunteering Tasmania Awards held at Huon Valley Town Hall last Friday evening.  The submission for this well deserved award follows. 

"The Franklin Working Waterfront Association trades as the Wooden Boat Centre and is a community owned not-for- profit enterprise. The role of Treasure is an arduous one as the Wooden Boat Centre is a business which employs a part-time manager, Front-of-House personnel and numerous shipwrights and tutors . Dr Shimeld undertakes this role as a volunteer. She is amply qualified to undertake this role.

Dr Shimeld (Sonia) has recently retired as a senior lecturer in Accounting at the University of Tasmania. She holds a PhD in that discipline and in governance. Although recently retired, Sonia continues to undertake work with UTAS.

Before undertaking the role of Treasurer for the Franklin Working Waterfront Association Inc, Sonia first joined the FWWA committee to undertake the role of Secretary in October 2014, filling a vacancy in that position. At the next AGM Sonia was elected as Treasurer.

Given that the association trades as the Wooden Boat Centre - a vibrant business which attracts many visitors and much business to the Huon area from Tasmania, mainland Australia and from overseas. The size and complexity of the role of Treasurer should, in an ideal world, be a paid position, however Sonia has cheerfully undertaken this role as a volunteer

Sonia is a spendthrift with the time and energy she devotes to the Franklin community through the Wooden Boat Centre. She is always encouraging other volunteers which is why the Centre runs so efficiently. Without our volunteers the Centre would, no doubt close, leaving a gaping hole in the Franklin community and local businesses would suffer as a result.

Not only does Sonia undertake the demanding role of Treasurer for the Franklin Working Waterfront Association, when staff members are on leave she willingly steps in and takes on the banking, and arranging of the payment for the salaried staff, and any number of other tasks needing to be addressed. Most recently, she has also stepped into the role of tourist guide, and undertaken the role of front-of-house duties. All these roles she undertakes with a smile and with little fanfare, avoiding the limelight. In conclusion, an award of this kind would be most deserved and would recognise the work of an unsung volunteer."

Well done Sonia and thank you from us all.