Begonia, one of the boats owned by the Wooden Boat AssociationMany of our members are sailors, builders and restorers of wooden 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. Some members do not currently own boats, but we cater for them as well.

Our Association owns a number of boats, available for members to use by themselves if you are able to handle them, or if you prefer you could be the crew for one of our experience members. Once you have experience in handling the boats it is possible for you to borrow them to take to sailing days, boat festivals, or even for private sailing.

Begonia is a gaff rigged 15’ sailing dinghy able to carry two or three people. She started life as a unique project, organised by the Wooden Boat Association, to construct a traditional wooden boat.

Begonia was designed by Master Boatbuilder, Tom Whitfield, of totally traditional clinker (lapstrake) construction. Starting in 1991, using donated Kauri and Huon Pine, the boat was lofted, moulds made, set-up and planked, all by volunteers, under Tom's guidance. We were very fortunate to have the use of a shed alongside Polly Woodside. No better site could be hoped for such a project.

This was a unique opportunity to learn, in detail, from a master of the craft in a hands-on manner, the skills and problems of traditional construction, and was very enthusiastically received.

The original sails were hand sewn by Rick Mitchell, with assistance from Clare Atkins. Originally rigged with a Spritsail main, with two jibs on the bowsprit, she was eventually changed over to a Gaff rig.

As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we have created a pictorial record of the launching of Begonia. Look for it in our Image Gallery.

Begonia has been taken to many boat festivals by members to display on behalf of the WBA, as well as various club sailing days.

Lyndsay Symons, a boat owned by the Wooden Boat AssociationLyndsay Symons is a 10’ single sailed clinker dinghy easily sailing by novices.
Stringybark, our single-person canoe is usually in action on club days at Albert Park, and is easily carried on roofracks. She is ideal for sheltered waters, such as rivers, creeks, and lakes. Come along to a WBA activity to try her out.

Our boats are kept at Albert Park yacht club and usually one or both are launched on sailing days.

We are very privileged to have the boats available, due to the efforts of our earliest members who built Begonia. We like our boats to be used, otherwise there is not much point in maintaining them and anyway, Begonia needs her bottom wet regularly.

We have a guide to rigging Begonia available here.

Stringybark, the Wooden Boat Association's one-man canoeAll our boats are available for members to borrow to take to sailing days, festivals, as well as for private use. Phone our Boat Manager, Graham Signorini, on 9391 56217 to find out more.

The Association has also been given an extremely rare Port Phillip 12 racing dinghy. Over the last few years she has been undergoing restoration work, and will be back on the water shortly.

The Wooden Boat Association's rare Prt Phillip 12

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.

Wooden Boat Association Membership Benefits

  • Shavings, a monthly newsletter bringing timely news about events and activities in Victoria.
  • Monthly meetings with a wide range of interesting speakers. Our usual venue is the Albert Park Yacht Club.
  • 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

Other Events

Coming WBA Events

Sun May 28 @10:00AM - 05:00PM
Sailng Day APYC
Wed Jun 21 @ 7:30PM - 09:00PM
Club Night APYC Upper Hall
Sun Jul 23 @10:00AM - 05:00PM
Annual General Meeting and Sailing Day
Wed Aug 16 @ 7:30PM - 09:00PM
Plans night
Sun Aug 27 @10:00AM - 05:00PM
Sun 27 Aug - Yarra River trip
Wed Sep 20 @ 7:30PM - 09:00PM
Stewart Dickson Speaks - Building his boat + Geelong Festival
Sun Sep 24 @10:00AM - 05:00PM
Sailing Day APYC

Wind and weather info for Port Phillip, Western Port, and elsewhere.

www.baywind.com.au/ppb

www.seabreeze.com.au

Extended forecast for Melbourne

Tides information

Bureau of Meteorology

willyweather