A new breed of timber boats is the speciality of the craftspeople at the Wooden Boat Shop, renowned for classic coastal cruisers that combine timber, traditional techniques and high-tech composites.
Based in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula, the Wooden Boat Shop, under the direction of boat builder, Tim Phillips and a team of 22, is a hive of activity, crafting a range of timber boats for savvy clients seeking totally bespoke vessels.
The range spans 28 to 50 feet and each has a unique name: Kooyong 28, Cheviot 32, Shearwater 38, Efficient 44 and the Deal Island 50. The Deal Island 50 has struck a chord with families and couples seeking an elegant pleasure boat with a wider beam that accommodates two cabins and plenty of living space.
Tim Phillips, a master timber boat builder for close to 40 years, said the design brief was “a Down-East-type boat with a little bit more beam and more robust than previous models”.
“The idea is to allow more room onboard for families and couples to enjoy coastal cruising,” Tim said. “The Deal Island 50 will cruise Victoria to Tassie with no problems.”
Two of the Deal Island 50s have just been delivered in time for summer and the team at the Wooden Boat Shop are poised to begin another.
Entirely hand-built, the Deal Island 50 takes up to two years to make, due to her fitted timber composite frames that are glassed in, strip plank hull in hardwood below the waterline with cedar topsides, while the deck and cabin are made from sustainably-sourced African teak.
To ensure a glossy, durable finish, Tim sourced a range of products from ATL Composites.
As Mac Dalton, ATL Technical Sales Manager explained: “They used the KINETIX R246TX Thixotropic Laminating Resin and H160 Medium Hardener to provide excellent cured mechanical properties for the main hull lamination, and the benefit of extended working time for larger projects like this one.
WEST SYSTEM epoxy products were also used for some laminating applications and high strength timber bonding applications. WEST SYSTEM resin combined with the blended and unique powder modifiers were used internally for structural gluing and coving of bulkheads to hull sides, etc.
ATL’s Technifill XP R1160 Fairing Compound was used to fair the Deal Island 50. This pre-mixed, lightweight formulation is easy to apply and sand to ensure a perfect finish.”
Tim has been working with ATL for three decades. “We like ATL. We are all champions of the timber boat.”
According to Tim, timber brings a unique lustre to every boat. “Timber boats are hand-made as opposed to a mass-produced fibreglass boat. They are not higher maintenance than production boats, but they take a lot more man hours and I would say, creativity. Our customers seek us out when they’re looking for something special; a boat that embodies their memories of childhood and travel.”