The timber shed, and two adjacent sheds of similar design on the Commonwealth owned naval cadet site adjacent to the west, date from around 1913.
Blunts Boatyard and Slipway is of historical significance as a rare operating example of the many small scale boat-building and repairing businesses which have operated on the Williamstown foreshore from the 1850s on.
We drove slowly up the gravel driveway off the county road, past a couple no trespassing signs and turned right at the crest of the ridge, seeing Bobby York's shop buildings a hundred yards away. This was my second trip to Bobby's 10-acre spread, and I was eager to introduce my passengers, Troy and Robin, to Bobby, and maybe even meet Bobby's dad, Bob, who would soon turn 95.
Bob is from Oklahoma originally, but after the War, he wound up in Dallas with his young family and started up a lens grinding business there. So when Bob had a chance to acquire an unfinished Yellow Jacket Hull in 1957, he thought he could finish it and have himself a nice boat with a personal touch. The Yellow Jacket lineage of this boat's hull is undeniable, but the rest of the boat has an identity all its own--a beautiful combination of work by Willis Boat Works and Bob York himself. Bobby's steel shop buildings contain a dozen or more Ford and Mercury classics, from the late '20s through the early '50s.
As we pulled slowly away, we could see old Bob and his son watching us leave, and watching their cherished family boat begin the next chapter of its life.


Here's the fully restored trailer, including new, carpeted bunks and a fresh coat of red paint.
Fresh bottom paint is fully dried, so it's time to re-right the boat and put it back on the trailer. Join us in our various activities all designed for the enjoyment of antique and classic boating.
There were at various times a number of large scale boat builders and repairers, both government and private, and the infrastructure to support this activity.
The use, equipment and layout of the yard remain similar to that of earlier in the twentieth century, while many of the other yards have disappeared or have been changed more substantially. But even if you don't own a boat, and you're sincerely interested in antique and classic boats, join us! The foreshore along Nelson Place was particularly suited to small boat building and repair activities.
The business moved to Williamstown c1880 and operated from a yard with shed, pier and slipway on the waterfront between Ann Street and Thompson Street. The original slipway was reputedly constructed using elements from the first floating dock to be used in Port Phillip, though there is no above water evidence of this.


The Blunt family boat building business has operated continuously in Williamstown since the 1880s, and in Victoria since the 1850s. Williamstown was right on the bay but at the same time sheltered, and slipways for small vessels could operate in all weathers. A large number of small boat builders have operated from a variety of premises along the foreshore over the last 150 years.
Bobby and his dad wanted to be sure the boat would be lovingly restored and given a good home.
The trusses of the seaward end of the shed have been modified to allow sheltered work on larger vessels. The site had been used from the 1858 till at least 1877 for steam sawmill operations, and from 1913 to 1926 by motor engineers.
An older main winch is still located nearby.The long timber pier has a number of moorings and is of a height suited to small vessels.



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