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Latest launch from the Wooden Boat Shop – Shearwater 38

The latest Masterpiece from The Wooden Boat Shop (WBS) will be traveling from Sorrento to Hobart for the 2019 Australian Wooden Boat Festival. This new vessel is the culmination of lifetimes of experience from Tim Phillips and the WBS crew.

The new vessel, a Shearwater 38, is named after one of Tim’s preferred fishing spots in the Kent group, Squally Cove.

This cove on the south side of Deal Island can have so many of the attributes of Paradise, good fishing, ultramarine blue waters and spectacular coastline.

“We so often dream of these locations and it’s our boats that take us there, hence this boat we call Squally Cove – Beautiful hand chiselled name in the Transom.”

Cruising and fishing among the Bass Strait Islands have been a life-long passion for Tim Phillips, Director of the Wooden Boat Shop (WBS).

“I first cruised these islands back in the 60s in our family H28 it was pretty basic back then, living on the days catch, exploring the terrain and being among the wilderness, a terrific lifestyle.”

Over the years, cruising the Strait, including countless Hobart and return trips via the Westcoast aboard Storm Bay, Jane Kerr and all manner of other boats, it is clear the vessels with work boat origins perform best across all of the demands the Australian environment delivers.

“The fishing is the main activity when we go away, as we move up the coast we are always looking for our next feed. Squally Cove is fitted with a pot hauler for the crays and is laid out in a spacious manner and set up for line fishing for sharks and scale fish.”

The development of the WBS range of boats are heavily influenced by Victorian and Tasmanian Couta Boats and Fishing Craft, with a turn of speed that should be credited to the Down East Style Lobster Boats of world acclaim.

“We built 16 Cheviot 32 launches that were developed in house at the Wooden Boat Shop, Murray Pass the last of these boats we trucked across the Nullarbor to WA then we took her 5000 miles up the West Coast across the top then back to Melbourne. The boat performed exceptionally well and was ideal for the 2 of us, we felt on reflection it would have been nice to have a bit more space and be able to bring people with us, hence the development of the Shearwater 38.”

This boat has some serious design pedigree, the hull has been designed by Australia’s leading naval architect, Andy Dovell, on a brief that has closely followed WBS’s other vessels such as the Cheviot 32 and Efficient 44.

From the keel up, it is clear this boat has been built by experience at sea and fitted out from an understanding of cruising life. A view inside the boat will engage your senses with natural wood and bronze, all hand finished with plush upholstered cushions. The galley is set out with the Wallas diesel oven, cooktop and heater, neatly laid out drawers offer all you require at your fingertips. The galley bench, salon and cockpit table offer practical surfaces for entertaining and relaxing. This level of detail flows throughout the entire vessel.

“We have carefully designed every element for this particular boat, and wanted to build one for ourselves, to share the vision. We have thought about all aspects of how this boat will be used, based upon our own experiences and challenges at sea”

“We have equipped her with every convenience required for day boating and extended cruising, whilst retaining the traditional feel of a real wooden boat. The total package exceeds what is offered by the fiberglass boats available on the market today.”


The mechanical and electrical fitout on Squally Cove embraces some serious technology that will enhance the capabilities of the vessel. The Yanmar 6LY 440 that achieves 440HP @ 3300rpm is a ‘state of the art’ common rail engine with electronic controls. The electrical system is built with a whopping 250 amp alternator and a 600 AH lithium house battery bank. The system can rapidly charge from empty to full and delivers any required power demand of power due to the lithium batteries capability of being cycled all the way down. Lithium battery system at about $3.18 per cycle is about 40% cheaper than comparable AGM or Gell batteries.

“This was the first electronic 6LY 440 to be fitted in Australia, quiet and smooth engine, combined with the Veem propeller this boat will achieve it’s 15 knots cruise speed at 60% load. The large capacity alternator and lithium batteries will allow us to have the luxury of an icemaker, 240volt usage and refrigeration without being plugged into the marina or living with the constant drone and maintenance of a genset.”

Stay tuned for more photos and information on the Shearwater 38.