110 years strong

Norman R. Wright & Sons family, owners and friends celebrate 110 Years of boat building excellence.

Photography by Norman R. Wright & Sons

21 November 2019


It was an eclectic fleet of more than 50 vessels that gathered for the 110th anniversary celebrations for iconic Australian boat builder, Norman R. Wright & Sons, held 9 November at RQYS Canaipa, a sentimental site for the Wright family who have been members for decades.

Among the close to 200 guests were family, colleagues, life-long friends and owners, many of them aboard their Norman R. Wright & Sons’ designed and built craft which cut a fine profile on the tranquil waters of Moreton Bay.

Among the exceptional vessels were Dolphin II, Blue Peter, Baby Doll, Wild Banks, Camira and South Pacific II to name just a few and the Queensland Police Service in their new Norman R. Wright & Sons’ designed and built barge the MV Stewart Kerlin II.

Along with the enthusiastic toast for 110 years in business, and an estimated 1,200 boats produced in that time from classic timber vessels and specialist craft for the Armed Forces to luxury recreational yachts, the occasion had a solemn moment in Bill Wright’s retirement announcement.


Bill was born into the business and after completing his boatbuilding apprenticeship from age 17 then went on to achieve AMSA Certification, RINA & SNAME Membership.

While he will no doubt enjoy many more hours on the water in his yacht, Magellan, Bill will still lend his expert eye to production and projects undertaken at Norman R. Wright’s Brisbane facilities.

“110 years in business doesn’t just happen by chance, there are many things that contribute to achieving such a milestone,” said Bill Wright.

“Our business really comes down to the clients who have supported us over the years and how have worked with us to create some truly unique and stunning boats, our suppliers and contractors who have shared in our vision to build high-quality, custom-built boats and our team members.

“Without all three we wouldn’t have survived this long and to all three groups we are greatly indebted’”.

Ian Wright added his tribute, saying “To think we would achieve 100 years in business is just phenomenal, to then have the opportunity to share in our 110th Anniversary with our family, friends, clients and suppliers is just amazing. This business has been a passion for our families for a long time now and what we have achieved just makes me so very proud.”

Tony Riek, Managing Director, said “To be celebrating 110 years in business is a great milestone and I know our entire Board and management team are very excited about building on that legacy”.

“You can’t place a value on 110 years of history, but we can place a commitment to honour that achievement and put plans in place to work off the platform we have been provided to take the brand and business to the next 110 years.”

Following speeches and presentations, guests enjoyed an informal afternoon of socialising, reminiscing and sharing boating yarns, feasting on fresh local prawns and produce, washed down by assorted beverages.

Special thanks to Kevin the RQYS Canaipa facility manager for his assistance in the lead up to the event and for sharing his awesome vinyl record collection on the day.


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