The Western Beach Boat Yard Reserve opening with relatives of former boat building families Greg Blunt and Libby Hu with City of Greater Geelong mayor Bruce Harwood. Photo: MIKE DUGDALE

Historic boat yard reopens in Geelong

October 3, 2019 BY

THE WESTERN Beach Boat Yard Reserve was officially reopened last week.

The yard has been restored with boat building infrastructure, some of the original boats, and signage that informs people about the area’s history.

City of Greater Geelong mayor Bruce Harwood said it was great that the place had been transformed in this manner.

“It’s wonderful the Western Beach Boat Yard Reserve has been brought back to life, showcasing the site’s extensive boat building history whilst adding new elements to the space.

“The project has been a huge collaborative effort between the City, contractors and other stakeholders over many years to open this prominent piece of foreshore for public use.”

The council decided in 2005 to return the reserve to the public.

They also put a plan in place to ensure that any artifacts during the construction were protected.

The city has fully funded the $340,000 program.

Among the historical boats at the yard is an 103 year-old double-ended fishing boat that is position on an old slipway to show how it would have launched in its time.

Deputy mayor Peter Murrihy said he was delighted this part of the city’s history was being preserved.

“Geelong has such a rich maritime history and it’s great to see how original boats and infrastructure have been used in new ways.

“This upgraded reserve provides locals and tourists with interesting history and a place to exercise and socialise, against the backdrop of our world-class waterfront.”

Pathways have also been built to link the boat yard to the existing waterfront path.