If you've ever considered converting a workboat or fishboat to be your cruising powerboat, there are many options when it comes to working with yards and builders Down Under. Following is a list of resources, some projects the yards have worked on, and what we've heard from fellow cruisers.
Location: New South Wales Coast
We met two Australians in Lombok on a power passagemaker they designed and built themselves who were just starting their circumnavigation. They own and run a boatyard specializing in timber boats.
Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard
A state-of-the-art marina featuring 18 super yacht berths, a 150-ton boat hoist, 55 marine businesses covering every facet of the industry, and seven refit and yacht construction sheds that are fully enclosed.
Norman R. Wright & Sons
This large company designs and builds passagemakers. They also do refits with many materials, including timber.
Contact: Ian Wright
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Squadron
A great resource for finding converted trawlers.
Timber Boat Division of the Royal Motor Yacht Club
Location: Broken Bay, Sydney
Contact: Tony Van Dyke, division president
Tony has himself recently finished converting a second trawler. There are about a dozen trawlers in the fleet.
If you are searching for Australian timber trawlers, a good place to look is in the commercial section of Trade-A-Boat Magazine. Known as "the book of dreams," it is the only Australia-wide pictorial classifieds magazine. (It's also worth it to haunt the docks around Bulimba Creek in Brisbane and the river fishing ports along the whole east coast of Australia.)