Queenscliffe Maritime Museum Inc

The Queenscliff Maritime Centre and Museum presents the history and heritage of the Southern Port Phillip area; the dangers, wrecks, rescues and people who made its history. Highlights include the lifeboat "Queenscliffe" (1926-1976), a fisherman's cottage (1879) lighthouse equipment and a fisherman's shed painted with ships entering Port Phillip (1895-1947). The dangers of "The Rip" (the dangerous entry to Port Phillip) are explained in graphic detail, with maps, charts and photographs. Couta Boat building.

Weeroona Parade, Queenscliff, VIC
1.30-4.30pm Sat-Sun, 10.30am-4.30pm during holidays (including school), also by appointment
Shop, wheelchair access, reference library, guided tours for groups
Approximately 1000 small and 600 large exhibits, plus 1000 photographs




Royal National Lifeboat Institution
1923 Watson Class Lifeboat RNLI design - built in Australia 1924

Fisherman's Cottage

Two room weatherboard fully furnished cottage built for the Ikin Family.
circa 1879


Couta Boat Building Shed

Maritime Centre
Boatbuilding shed built to design used circa 1890. The Couta Boat is an intergal part of our history having been developed over the years between 1885 and 1930 by boatbuilders from Queenscliff to Portland, and probably beyond. As a "Barracouta" fishing boat in Bass Strait, it proved to be a reliable and very seaworthy boat used on many occasions as a lifeboat and pilot boat. It was built in various sizes ranging from 20 to 30 feet long, and used for fishing along the coast of Bass Strait and into Port Phillip Bay. The Barracouta is a large predatory fish which was found in large numbers in the area at that time, but in very much reduced numbers these days. The Boatbuilding Shed is designed in the same format as old time sheds used by many boatbuilding craftsmen in the 1800's and 1900's. It is 15 metres long by 14 metres wide giving a floor area of 210 square metres. Murray Pine has been used in the support poles, trusses, rafters, glass panel doors and that protion of the floor which extends the full elngth of the building on the north side. This floor has plugged fastenings and caulked joints as in a ship's deck. The project was funded by the Museum, public donations of both money and material, and 2000 hours of voluntary labour, and took 9 months to build. The Couta boat to be built will be 26 feet in length with a 10 foot beam, and was designed in Queenscliff by Boat builder Mitch Lacco in 1920 for a local fisherman and Geelong footballer at the time, Jocka Todd. Other historical artifacts covering 100 years of our history and related to boat building will be housed in the buildig including memorabillia of the boat builders. Entry is through the Museum at the normal admission charge or if you wish to be involved regularly in the building of the Couta Boat, we suggest you join the Museum, entry is then free.
circa 1890