The Wooden Boat Association of Cairns (WBAC) started life as “Bob’s Shed” in 1998. Bob Goodall and friends started this club and in 2000 it became a branch of the Townsville Wooden Boat Association of North Queensland. Under Bob’s guidance, in 2003 the WBAC became its own incorporated organization and moved to a clubhouse in Lyons St. A second move in 2009 saw the club in its present home at 68 Tingira St with its own clubhouse, working areas, tools and equipment.

For several years it shared these facilities with other groups but in 2017 gained a separate lease from Ports North. In 2020 the lease area was rationalised and the club was able to rearrange the layout to make operations more efficient and secure.

Over the years the club has renovated and constructed several wooden boats, ensuring that woodworking and boat building skills are maintained and passed on to future generations.



The Cairns Motor Boat Club (CMBC) started in 1917 with the aim “the encouragement of motor boating generally in Cairns”. The club arranged races, fishing and pleasure trips for many years with many active members. Members built their own club house and an associated jetty and moorings for the benefit of members. Over the years, they engaged in many battles with the Harbour Board (now Ports North) to provide affordable moorings for small boats. The club was active in promoting boating safety and in 1970 formed the Rescue Squad whose members volunteered their time and boats to render assistance to other boaties. This activity was taken over by the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard in 1971.

With declining membership the club closed in 1998. The WBAC inherited the spirit of the CMBC and it’s name continues as part of the WBAC, who held a commemorative event on the Cairns Esplanade in 2017 to mark the centenary of the CMBC .