For 150 years, C Blunt Boat Builders, of Williamstown and Geelong, has been launching wooden boats into the waters of Port Phillip Bay, from sea-faring vessels carrying missionaries to the New Hebrides to beautiful race-winning yachts. Now a listed heritage site and run by a fifth generation of Blunts, it is a unique link to Victoria’s maritime past.

LOSING your home and possessions to a bush fire would be enough to send all but the hardiest of new immigrants scurrying back to their homeland. Yet, when such a disaster struck English newlyweds Clement and Sarah Blunt shortly after their arrival in Australia in the early 1850s, they entertained no such thought.

The young couple had settled in Lorne, 140km south west of Melbourne, where Clement earned a living building a boat for a local squatter. Undeterred by the fire that ravaged their fledgling life, they walked with what little survived the blaze along the coast to Geelong. There, the 34-year-old began a boat building dynasty that survives to this day.

Within two months of opening his yard, it became home to the Geelong Rowing Club.
His designs also began turning heads; a 24-foot yawl built for a local doctor “skims over the water like a thing of life” came one report of May 1, 1874.  As his reputation and business grew so too did his clan, and he distilled his talent into the five of six sons who were to follow him into the trade. 

 

 

 

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