“Tubbs 1 is a tribute to the craftsmen of the time”

60 years ago, most Australian boats were built of bond-wood, just like this gorgeous old Whittley 5.4, called Tubbs 1. The lines are stunning and the timberwork is soft and warm. As we discovered, it’s also incredibly buoyant. We had the ol’ girl in less than a foot of water, even with the Holden grey motor sitting in the transom.

The feeling of sitting in a wooden boat on the water touches the senses like only an old timber boat can. Nostalgia runs high, even if you’ve never owned or been in a classic timber hull. Brothers Jim and Ossie Whittley built Tubbs 1 in the 1950s and it’s still going strong – a tribute to the craftsmen of the time. I’m not sure if they were trying to build a classic, but based on the adoring looks from passers-by, they certainly did.