As the largest island in the world, with a land area of about 7.7 million square kilometres, Australia qualifies as a continent in its own right. It is also the worlds largest island nation.
Surrounded by water, Australians naturally have a strong connection with the sea, and with boats. The vast majority of Australians live within 50km of the coast in cities or towns, mostly river or harbour ports, the gateways to our early settlement and subsequent economic development.
As a relatively young nation Australians are not too far removed from our pioneering past and this instils a practical hands-on approach to how we do things.
Given this background it is not surprising that many Australians gained early youthful experience with boats, often building and sailing their own boats from a young age. Nor is it surprising that boating in one form or another is a very popular recreational pursuit for many Australians of all ages.
For some, this means high performance vessels using the latest technologies, for others it is more about the beauty, the skills, the materials and the hands-on involvement associated with wooden boats. Wooden Boat Associations around Australia have formed from enthusiasts dedicated to encouraging and supporting these interests. These associations often work cooperatively with Maritime Museums, providing skilled, dedicated volunteer manpower to help with construction or restoration of wooden vessels with some historical significance.
At a national level a number of important historical replicas have been constructed with the combined resources of government, commerce, maritime museums and enthusiastic volunteers.
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