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Restorations At The Wooden Boat Shop

The beginnings of the Wooden Boat Shop under a carport in Portsea, driven by Tim Phillips’ passion and love for Couta boats, soon became a thriving business fundamentally focused around the restoration of these unique Australian fishing boats. It is easy to pick the Couta Boats that have had a Tim Phillips/WBS restoration. These boats stand in perfect condition, with seamless transitions between old and new material, remaining true to their origins.


Today, at the Wooden Boat Shop, it would be easy to walk through the workshops and classify the business purely as a manufacturing plant. We build as many as five new boats each year.
There are literally hundreds of boats that have been saved from fueling winter fires; from clinker dinghies, Riva’s, Chris Craft, Lewis and Hammond speed boats to Ocean going yachts and cruisers. There are also two of our boats installed in museums that have been meticulously restored in collaboration with senior conservators.


It is with all of this pioneering experience, that we restore boats to the Wooden Boat Shop standard and philosophy, of using as much of the original vessel possible, retaining the original form and patina, with the assistance of technology.


If the boat is to be a working exhibit it must be user friendly. For example, it is okay to substitute sythetics for the original linen sails, for greater longevity. Paints and adhesives of today allow for maintenance schedules on classic boats at a quarter of the cost of the old days of enamel and varnish. Ball bearing sheaves can be used in wooden shell blocks, and polyester laid rope gives nothing away in appearance. The benefits of all these technological improvements are well accepted aboard classic yachts, allowing your restored boat to be very easy to maintain and a pleasure to sail.