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Bribie Classic Boat Regatta

Bribie Classic Boat Regatta

By Andy Kancachian


The Bribie Island Classic Boat Regatta is a great weekend event for boaties to be messing about with boats and having some fun.

When you bring together 70 beautiful classic boats from near and far, it can only be described as spectacular. This annual event is, without a doubt, the biggest gathering of its kind in Queensland.

After 22 years of event history, the Regatta is eagerly anticipated by the local Bribie Island community. It is a grand parade of beautifully crafted boats and proud owners who spent thousands of hours restoring their vessels, to enjoy with family and friends, and for opportunities like the Regatta where they can show off with pride their classic boats.

The 2021 Bribie Island Classic Boat Regatta took place in late May, along the shores of the Pumicestone Passage. Many of the visiting boats launched early Saturday morning at Spinnaker Sound Marina, with the fleet cruising to Toorbul for lunch. That evening, the boats were hosted at Pacific Harbour Star Marina for the night, and the participants were served the official Regatta dinner at the Bribie Island Golf Club, which boasted lots of raffle prizes and great fun for all.

In spite of a cold south-westerly on the Sunday, the fleet of 70 classic boats assembled at Sylvan Beach, where hundreds of spectators and enthusiasts turned out to inspect the vessels. There were all sorts, size and shape of classic boats, big and small, motorised and sailing. The event featured many locally made Moreton Bay cruisers, clinker hull, putt putt dinghies, while 27 of the entrants were sailing boats. There were a couple of classic outrigger sailing canoes and a vintage laminated ply sailing catamaran.

The most impressive aspect of the fleet was that an overwhelming number of the boats were designed and built in Southeast Queensland. There were also boats that were crafted in Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide, and others made of famous Tasmanian Huon pine. There was one internationally designed and built boat, which was a Chevy-powered mahogany speedboat from England.

With all the boats being classics in their own right, the Regatta was a wooden-boat aficionado’s wildest dreams come true. There were hulls and decks of double diagonal hoop pine, red cedar, silver ash, and maple, teak and oregon timber, and the classic lines with wine-glass shaped stern and the shining heads of copper nails.

The beach was awash with whites and blues, and glossy timbers, a reflection that the spirit of the seaman lives on. The pop-up stalls and carnival atmosphere along the foreshore ensured a memorable community-friendly activity.

Many of the boats were absolutely immaculate. Their owners displayed the historic information about the building of the boat, the journey of the boat over the years, and the details of the refit. Many diligently included information on the types of wood, their construction method and the motors, as well as fuel consumption and performance capabilities. The event was indeed a great opportunity for the general public to meet the boat builders, ask questions about the designs and techniques, and learn the stories about each boat. Clearly, there was an overwhelming amount of technical know-how among those participating.


Historic: A boat built up to and including 1918.

Antique: A boat built between 1919 and 1942.

Classic: A boat built between 1943 and 1975.

Late Classic: A boat built from 1976 to the year 25 prior to the current year.

Contemporary: A wooden boat built within the last 25 years

Preparations are already underway for next year’s regatta, scheduled for 20-22nd May 2022.

To find out more and register your vessel, contact








Published in print October-December 2021