Custom Search
   boat plans
   gift certificates
Join Duckworks
Get free newsletter
on this site
by Geoff Leedham - Alice Springs, Northern Territory - Australia

Geoff Leedham is the Applied Technology Department Head and Industrial Arts teacher at St Philips College, Alice Springs; with his first experience of boatbuilding at Plympton High as a student. He then undertook boatbuilding as a course major during his Industrial Arts B.Ed. degree in South Australia.

Teacher, Geoff Leedham 2012


Once again time has gotten away from me and I have failed to net-erise my students’ constructions as they have been completed. So here and now I will make amends.

The boats listed here have been constructed by my Year 12 students within 12 month time frames and with 2 hulls built per year, so for the mathematical amongst you this means one boat every 6 months!! No wonder I’m always tired. Many have been constructed on the same strongback.

Harry G, John Dory. Oughtred’s 18ft long John Dory on display in the school hall and always raises comments from parents. It has Mahogany open gunwales with Huon Pine and Silky Oak highlights elsewhere.

Iain Oughtred designs beautiful boats and his JOHN DORY is no exception & more info is here. Harry was launched at Lake Argyle WA, and now resides in The Minnamurra Hall (our school hall) where she continues to startle school visitors, click here then zoom out a long way to see why.

Giselle, Goat Island Skiff (GIS). Giselle getting wet at Glen Helen waterhole. Due to our harsh UV conditions the hull was painted in Hempels HEMPATEX paints with Deks Olje #1 used on the Mahogany and other timbers.

Giselle is a GIS by Michael Storer and is simple to construct; a beautiful 15½ft “Flat Iron Skiff”. There are several good GIS photo build blogs on the web. She was christened at Glen Helen Gorge in November 2011.

Meg, Alby. Two Mile Waterhole to the west of Alice Springs, with Alby right on the design waterline. The build crew all had fun out on the water.

The first design we constructed from Ross Lillistones’ portfolio was Alby. This pram SAG hull was easily constructed by my 6 students in their senior year. With a nice V hull form making her much quieter in the water than most tenders, she draws only 6”. Meg was launched at 2 Mile, Glen Helen NT in November 2012.

Spinifex, Phoenix III. Phoenix III at Milang SA getting tested in harsh conditions. It was a tough morning.

The Phoenix III hull was developed over a number of years along with a brilliant instruction booklet. This is possibly Ross’s best known design and was recently featured in WoodenBoat magazine. The student group constructing this 15ft hull were captivated with the rolling curves of this hull. She was launched at Lake Alexandrina, South Australia in January of this year.

Arabana, Water Rat. This Water Rat has just been taped together and is soon to be decked. An earlier completed hull is in the background.

Yet another of Ross Lillistones’ designs is his 9ft Water Rat scow hull. Yes, you gotta try to support your local boat designer where you can! A beamy SAG design which is easy to paddle yet also stable; ours (we’re now building our 3rd WR) have a 6mm floor and transoms, with the rest of the hull from 4mm marine ply and taped joints.

Nugget “in build”. Nugget is an inland lapstrake rowing hull of 15 ½ feet. This is 9mm Hoop Pine and formed up over the CNC molds easily and is the first hull of this new Lillistone design. Transom is 12mm ply with a New Guinea Rosewood facing.

Lillistones’ latest design is Nugget (latest as still in a developmental stage) and is coming together nicely. This is a 15½ ft seven strake rowing hull not listed yet but maybe soon for lake and river conditions, with a truly beautiful under water hull form. My students are really being pushed with this construction (hey, there are 14 strakes needed you know) but they do appreciate the lovely lines with this build. Expected launch is November this year.

In 2015 it is anticipated that another Nugget hull will be constructed (as a commission), along with Ruth which is a Dave Gentry SOF design.

To comment on Duckworks articles, please visit one of the following:

our Yahoo forum our Facebook page