Our club has been in existence for over 63 years and is based in Mordialloc which is situated on the shores of Port Phillip Bay Melbourne Australia.
The club had its origins in November 1948 when the inaugural race was held featuring seven diverse craft, some quite primitive by today’s standards. Faced with a diminishing membership in 1997 Sorrento Sailing Club entered into a memorandum of understanding to share facilities with the Couta Boat Club. Over the years the club has conducted many International, National and State events including Cat Weeks and The Little America’s Cup generating much positive publicity for the club.
The Wooden Boat Association of Victoria is a friendly, warm and welcoming association that was formed in 1989 for people who enjoy wooden boats and wooden boat building.
The Wooden Boat Association of Victoria has always taken great pride in the way that we welcome anyone who has an abiding interest in wooden boats.
Whilst our Association is based in Melbourne, at the Albert Park Yacht Club on the Albert Park Lake, we also have a branch on the Gippsland Lakes, catering for wooden boat enthusiasts in East Gippsland. The Wooden Boat Association of Victoria has sister associations in every other state and territory of Australia.
Melbourne's Tall Ship Enterprize has a weekend in Geelong on the 2012 March Labour Day weekend, including sails as part of the bienniel Geelong Festival of Wooden Boats on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th March. Good AfternoonI read in a recent Club Marine magazine that your club had a Geelong Wooden Boat regatta last weekend.
It provides space and tuition to help people design and handcraft their own boats, facilities for Brian and his team to produce boats commercially and space for other professional boat builders to do the same.A tour through the Centre is like walking through a giant riverside boating showroom, only the products are works in progress.


From these humble beginnings Sorrento Sailing Club was formed and began the voyage to its present day strength. More recently the club conducted the World Title for the 49ers (an Olympic class) and the 29ers extremely successfully. This replaced the control box originally built in 1952 and altered over the years and the clubhouse built by members in 1959, both funded in part by the proceeds of regular dances run by the club.
This year is our twentieth anniversary, where we celebrate the diverse breadth of interest that our members both past and present have always had for wooden boats of any shape or size. Members appreciate wooden boats for their aesthetic qualities, the inherent beauty of handcrafted wooden boats and the materials from which they are constructed, and the pure romance of wooden boats. Most members own boats, others do not, but we all enjoy the chance to get together and mess about in boats.
We think we are unique as most of our boats are clinker or carvel wooden boats which are between 30 to 90 years old.
In an age of mass production, each member’s wooden boat is truly as individual as her owner. Our boats include rowing boats, putt-putts, Couta boats, radio controlled models, pond yachts, canoes, kayaks, steam-powered boats, sailing dinghies, dayboats and ocean-going yachts.
We publish Watercraft, a quarterly journal with news and articles about events, boats and people across Australia and around the world, and Shavings, a monthly newsletter that brings together timely news about wooden boat events and activities in Victoria.
I noted in the article that the festival featured ex pilot boats which caught my attention as I am a Sydney Pilot and own an ex Pilot Boat that had its origins in Melbourne.


Members without boats are able to use the Association's own trailer boats, two traditional sailing boats, the Begonia and Lindsay Symons, and the canoe Stringybark. We also cater for armchair enthusiasts and members who want to carry out nautical research, with our extensive and growing library of boatbuilding and other nautical books.
Her name is “URANA” and I understand she was build around 1911 and used to transport River Pilots up and down the Yarra.
The data is then sent off to an outside supplier so that each section of wood for the boat can be computer cut at its real-life size –saving an enormous amount of hours.Brian, of course made the Centre’s CNC machine himself. He began his career as an industrial designer, before enjoying a professional ‘sea change’ to open the Wooden Boat Centre in 1989 alongside his son, Danny.
Danny now designs boats in South Australia and still works closely with his father.“There has always been a demand for custom made items, such as Bentleys and Ferraris, and custom made boats are no different. In recent years especially, people understand that a stock boat may not meet their criteria, it’s why we always have a couple of years of work ahead of us,” Brian said.Through his work restoring historic wooden boats, Brian has gained a reputation as a true craftsman.



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