Franklin 29 Steals the Spotlight


With her sporty, classic profile, the Franklin 29 brought to life by students at The Wooden Boat Centre in Tasmania was a genuine showstopper at the 2023 Australian Wooden Boat Festival.  Cody Horgan, Lead Shipwright-Manager at the Australian Wooden Boat School, and former student of the Wooden Boat Centre was thrilled with the response to the vessel.

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“The feedback was great – she’s one of a kind and among the best on show at the Festival,” he said, adding that her profile and vivid blue hull would make her the ideal G&T boat fit for a secret agent.

Best of all, the men and women who were involved in building her derived a tremendous amount of pride and sense of achievement.

Built to a design inspired by the Bristol 27 by UK designer, Andrew Wolstenholme, it was chosen for its blend of heritage looks and modern features, and provided 20 students over two years with training opportunities in the full range of boat building skills.

Disciplines involved spanned modern construction strip plank methods including CNC cut moulds and bulkheads; introduction to modern adhesives and fillers used in strip plank construction; vacuum bag sheathing processes; Dynel deck sheathing; composite bulkhead materials; laid deck installation; interior fit out and mechanical and electrical fit out.

The vessel features a strip-planked timber hull made from Western Red Cedar, sheathed inside and out with epoxy and glass, and finished in a highly durable 2 pack paint, ensuring the low maintenance advantages of a fiberglass finish, laid decks of Celery Top Pine, Huon pine on the transom and window framing, margins and gunwales wrapped in Western Australian Jarrah.

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ATL Composites, in conjunction with their local distributors Tasmanian Marine Distributors, worked closely with The Wooden Boat Centre, providing products, expertise and training for all involved.

WEST SYSTEM 105 epoxy and 206 Slow hardener were specified as the base system and in particular WEST SYSTEM 105 and 207 Special Clear hardener combination were used for all clear timber finishes on the project.

The 105/207 combination has an ultraviolet inhibiting additive that ensured an exceptionally clear, moisture resistant, timber finish and improved UV protection.

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KINETIX R246TX thixotropic laminating resin was chosen to extend the working time for laminating the hull and larger areas of the vessel.

Along with her timber interiors, the students undertook the upholstery.

As a semi-displacement vessel powered by a 110 HP low emission diesel engine and able to cruise at 17 knots, this compact cruiser will flit between anchorages and waterfront locations quickly and safely.

The ideal day boat or weekender, she has two single berths, a galley below decks and plenty of room on the aft deck. Of course, there is scope for adding your own personal touches and enhancements in the form of fitout, appliances and the creature comforts for overnight stays.

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The as-yet unnamed vessel is for sale.

“It’s not ours to name,” said Cody. “The new owner should have that privilege. It’s a gorgeous boat and it’s going to make somebody very proud.”

For enquiries please contact The Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin, Tasmania

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