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The Pittwater Wooden Boat School is an initiative of, and managed by  Larry Eastwood, a wooden boat owner tragic who wishes to see that his love and passion for wooden boats translated into improving the knowledge and understanding of construction and maintenance of wooden boats in order to demystify the challenges of owning a wooden boat and add to the numbers of wooden boats owners – especially on Pittwater.

Larry is joined in this challenge by Simon Sadubin of Sydney Wooden Boats and Ian Smith of Woodcraft Boats and formally of SWB. Both Simon and Ian will bring a life-time knowledge and expertise to the School.

Sydney Wooden Boats (formally Sydney Harbour Wooden Boats) has recently relocated from Chowder Bay to Darley Street, Mona Vale. Their work includes the restoration of many notable harbour boats such as SAO, DAISEY, RIMINI, MERLIN, MONSOON.

The school has classes which aim to promote wooden boat ownership by giving participants the ability to create and build their own small craft and / or to be able to restore and maintain older craft. The courses are recreational in nature and are aimed at all levels of expertise, from student youths to retirees who have spent a life time pushing a desk.  It is however presumed each participant will have a certain amount of practical ability and be familiar with wood workshop tools.



During the first year a number of projects were completed. These included


Pee Wee

2 Pee Wee clinker dinghies were built from Huon Pine and Spotted Gum. Design by Ian Smith


Acorn  Rower

This Acorn rowing dinghy designed by Iain Oughtred was built from surian cedar and silver ash


Woody Pointer

This outboard skiff was based on the Ocean Pointer designed by David Stimson which in turn was based on a Maine West Pointer by Alton Wallace. She was built in cedar strip plank over ply frames


Catspaw Dinghy

This Catspaw dinghy was restored from near wreck. Work included replacement of some boards, the transom and many broken ribs. The boat was then sheathed to keep her watertight




This yacht is a 30' Linear Rater designed and built by Arch Logan in NZ Kauri in 1900. She was commissioned by S.M. Dempster of the Sydney Yacht Squadron. She is one of 3 remaining 30' linear Raters. The others being Culwalla and Aoma.

Petrel line plan 2.jpg

Plan is to see all 3 yachts  restored to their 1900 configuration and to race against each other on Sydney Harbour and Pittwater to once again contest for the famous trophies of the era.


Petrel is currently in a fairly sad condition but still floating! The initial plan is to get the boat back to its original gaff rig configuration. This work would be undertaken by the Pittwater Wooden Boat Building School.



Provide the fundamentals of wooden boatbuilding using both traditional and modern construction methods and materials

Understand and appreciate the different methods of construction including plank-on-frame, clinker, strip plank, stitch and glue, cold moulded

PWB work 1.jpg

Be able read and understand the basics of a boat plan from to set-out to lofting and the creation of templates and moulds. 

Learn what is the right tool for a job and to be able handle them safely


Appreciate the different woods, glues and fastenings available and methods of fastening

Learn the tricks and techniques of steam-bending, laminating, caulking, and fairing etc.




Larry is an owner of a number of wooden boats including the Couta boat Sylvia  and a 30’ Lineal Rater Petrel. He has been a key player in organising and helping build the fleet of Coutas on Pittwater as well as co-ordinating various activities and regattas for all wooden boats on Pittwater. The Pittwater Wooden Boat School is an initiative of, and is managed by Larry, a wooden boat owner ‘tragic’ who wishes to see that his love and passion for them translates into improving the knowledge and understanding of construction and maintenance of them in order to demystify the challenges of owning one and therefore add to the number of wooden boats owners – especially on Pittwater



Simon Sadubin served his time at Timber Boat Services in Snails Bay – one of the last traditional boatyards in Balmain. He trained under ex-Cockatoo Island shipwrights Richard Wood and Nigel Shannon. Prior to training as a shipwright Simon was a qualified Industrial Designer and worked at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour Sydney. Simon with partner Tom Coventry set up Sydney Wooden Boats in Mona Vale in 2012 where they have carried a number of extensive restorations including QUESTING, a 35' Alan Payne fast cruiser, SJO - RO and JUDITH PHIL, a pair of 1934 International Six Metres designed by William Fife.



In a career covering more than thirty years, Ian has has built and restored all manner of boats both traditional and modern. He set up the Sydney Wooden Boat School in 1989 and has helped hundreds of home builders to build their own boats in classes that ran from 1989 to 2000. Years of experience of teaching first-time builders led to the production of a series of how-to manuals on the different methods of wooden boatbuilding. Ian is Honorary Secretary of the Australian Historical Skiff Sailing Association and has been involved with the revival of this aspect of Sydney’s maritime heritage since 1994, building and sailing a replica Six Footer and a Ten Footer before building a replica of the famous Sydney Eighteen Footer Britannia in 2002 which he sails in races every Summer Saturday with the Sydney Flying Squadron fleet. Ian recently published The Open Boat.


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