How to build your own boat
A HOBART boat builder has initiated a scheme so that people wanting to build their own craft can do so with expert help and advice at hand.
Allan Witt is passionate about his designs for lovely-looking and delightful-to-use recreational boats.
And he is equally keen to get people out on the water enjoying the boats.
His workshop produces three Allan Witt designs as finished boats — the 5.5m Derwent Skiff, the 4.5m Derwent Raider and the 4.2m Trout.
He has also developed kits that make boat building easy for amateurs.
As he says: ‘‘They are designed to make quick mastery of key skills realistic.’’ Witt said the Derwent Skiff was a recreational rowing boat with a sliding seat set up like a racing scull.
But unlike a racing boat, ‘‘remained stable when you let go of the oars’’.
It could be built as an open boat or decked fore and aft.
The Derwent Raider was also a recreational rowing boat but had sufficient beam to carry sail if wanted.
And the little Trout was a flatbottomed skiff designed by Witt’s brother Dennis with fixed rowing positions.
He said he had always supported kit builders of his designs with advice and practical help through email, phone and visits and Witt boats could now be seen on the water in many parts of Australia.
The idea of the hands-on building project right in his own workshop had grown from offering that sort of help.
‘‘The first two boats were a Derwent Skiff built by a father-andson team and a Trout built by a husband-and-wife team,’’ he said.
The builders created the boats in Witt’s workshop over a period of several weeks and put the finished craft on proud display at the recent Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart.
Witt also strongly supports community group-based boatbuilding projects.
‘‘It is all aimed at getting people out on the water, enjoying themselves and now they can enjoy creating the boat as well,’’ he said.
For more information, visit wittdesign.com.au or rowandsail.com.au or phone 6273 0254.