Built using modern wooden boatbuilding techniques under the supervision of master shipwrights at the Centre, the classic launch was designed by leading yacht designer Andrew Wolstenholme, well-known for his sleek, traditionally-styled powerboat designs. Intended as a multi-year student-built vessel for the Centre, Andrew introduced his design to WaterCraft readers back in 2020 (see W142), when construction began.
The Franklin 29 is strip planked in western red cedar, epoxy glued and sheathed over CNC-cut temporary moulds. Like several of Andrew’s previous designs for Star Yachts, Cockwells and Hardy Marine, the semi-displacement hull has a spray chine which allows for speeds of up to 25 knots, without losing the seakeeping and low speed benefits of the otherwise round bilge. Meanwhile, the 29’ (8.8m) LOA makes for a generous waterline length for her displacement, reducing drag – as well as making full use of the maximum length The Wooden Boat Centre’s workshop could accommodate!
Trainees at The Wooden Boat Centre learn traditional lofting on other smaller boat projects, but the Franklin 29 gives students a chance to work with the CAD/CNC processes in widespread use in modern boatbuilding. After internal epoxy sheathing, the Franklin 29’s interior is also assembled using CNC-cut components, with comfortable overnight accommodation for two. With a displacement of 4 tonnes, the Franklin 29 is powered by a 110hp Yanmar 4JH and comfortably achieved speeds of 19kts during sea trials, with three people on board.
Based in the small town of Franklin on the banks of the Huon River in south-east Tasmania, The Wooden Boat Centre is Australia’s only wooden boatbuilding school and offers a range of short boatbuilding courses, as well as a year-long shipwright course. The area is renowned for its maritime heritage and shipbuilding timbers, beautifully showcased on the Franklin 29, with Celery Top Pine laid decks and a Huon Pine transom.
The Franklin 29 is now making her maiden voyage to Hobart, where she will be a feature vessel at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, opening this Friday 10th February until Monday 13th February.
W142 (July/August 2020) and other back issues are available for £7 a copy including postage to anywhere in the world: www.watercraft-magazine.com/back-issues/