One of the trickiest things I’ve found when building my Stirven is where do I get all the bits? If I lived in France or the UK I’m guessing this would be relatively straight forward. But I live on the other side of the world, so I seem to spend a lot of time researching where is the best place to get what I need. So far I’ve managed to get most things locally and opted for Classic Marine in the UK for some specific components.

So here is my list of of the suppliers I’ve used to date. This will no doubt grow as I buy and source more stuff. Probably most relevant if you live in Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia.

Francois Viver
Plans and advice for the Stirven

The Plystore
So far most of my marine and normal ply has come from here.

Simply Oregon
All my Oregon – spars, mast etc has come from here.
They are also about 100metres from the Plystore which is handy.

Australian Furniture Timbers
Just about any timber you could want to build a boat is available here. Teak, Ash, Iroko and all sorts of alternatives to these. They also have information sheets on species and what parts of a boat they are most suited for. Pretty handy if your a newbie like me.

Mc Donald Marine
I buy my epoxy and stainless steel screws etc from these guys. They are at 1221 City Road South Melbourne.

Expanding foam, epoxy mixing stuff. This place is the coolest for whacky mould making stuff.

Classic Marine UK
Even though the English pound is expensive against the Aussie dollar some things are just easier to get from where the designer recommends!. They are also really helpful and happy to ship anywhere.

Geordie Stainless
Stainless steel rod and tube. They cut to size and are not very expensive.

George White & Co
Non-Ferrous Metals ie Bronze and Brass Rod and Sheet etc
For my Stirven I purchased Brass Beading for the hull and bow.

Billman’s Foundry
Metal casting of all sorts including the Stirven Cast Iron Centreboard

Stainless Store
Screws, nuts  and bolts – stainless of course. As an online store this is great
way better than buying at a marine supplies and the stuff always arrives the next day!

This is the paint brand I used, Australian made. Mc Donald Marine and Discount Marine have the full Colour Range in store.
Most hardware stores only stock the marine varnishes but will order in the colour tins.

Matthews Timber
I’ve been getting timber like Vitex for the decks and Jarrah for the trim from these guys, they also have great supplies of other boat building timbers.


  1. hy
    my name is laurent from france
    i watch sometime your blog
    congratulation for your work
    i finished last week a beg meil from vivier architech plan
    if you need help for details send me a mail

    • Hi Laurent,
      Thanks for letting me know you follow my blog, I’ll make sure I keep it up to date. I’m still building the spars at the moment, things seem to be going a bit slow due to work and family commitments but I’m slowly getting things done.
      Considering you’ve just finished a Beg-Meil you may have a good recommendation for spar varnish? What have you used? There seem to be so many options. I’m considering Sikkens Cetol Marine at the moment but would like to hear what other builders use. Hope your boat is fun to sail, send me a pic if you have one.

  2. hello
    can you tell me your mail adress

  3. Hi Mike
    i also live in Melbourne, and I’m doing research on building a sail and oar boat.
    Would it be possible to get in contact off line, so i can check out how things are going with the build?
    I’d be keen to see the progress of your boat build in the flesh.



    • Hi Richard,

      I sent you my contact details, let me know if you dont get anything.

  4. Mike, just found your blog..fantastic. I am about 1/3 way thru a boat building course @ Pt Adelaide TAFE with 10 other blokes. We’re building a 16 ft “Yellow tail” and really enjoying it and learning so much thru hands on experience. Sadly the powers to be have decide to cancel this course and the advanced course as well as the lofting course. Anyway I intend building a Devlin “Nancy’s China” when time permits and really looking forward to it.In the mean time I’m gathering my resources, tools, books, resources etc that I may need for the build. When I was checking your blog I think you referred to a boat building book,I think it was from the UK, I can’t for the life of me find it, I’m pretty sure it was on your blog, admittedly I was checking out 1/2 doz. sites as well but if it was you could you send the name of the book or any other that you think would be handy…Thanks, Rod

    • Hi Rod,
      Glad you like my Blog only boat building nerds truly get it!

      I had a similar experience with boat building courses at TAFE being cancelled, so I just went and did it myself!. I’m always surprised by this and that there are not more courses for amateurs as the demand seems to be pretty high.

      You are also not the first person to ask about some of the books I’ve referenced and not easily being able to remember where on the site they were mentioned. So I think I’ll make a permanent page called Recommended Reading. In the mean time here are some books I’ve found invaluable and reference all the time:

      How To Build Glued Lapstrake Wooden Boats
      By John Brooks & Ruth Ann Hill
      Great book full of excellent tips for anyone building a modern lapstrake boat.

      How To Build a Wooden Boat
      David C. “Bud” McIntosh
      This is more of a book on traditional boat building, but I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read it.

      An illustrated guide to fine woodstrip construction
      By Ted Moores.
      This is the wood strippers bible

      You can get all these from the Woodenboat Store or Amazon

      Hope those suggestions help you on your way.

  5. Thanks Mike, I’m off to the course tonight and I will let everyone there know about your blog, Thanks again Rod

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