BOATS are like women, according to Warrnambool boat builder Peter Trewartha.
A woman with classic good looks 100 years ago is likely to be a good looking woman today, he said.
And the same applies to the gaff-rigged schooner he and business partner Lyndon Joiner are restoring.
While only launched in 2005, the Patricia Mary was built to the design of a 1900s Nova Scotia fishing boat and its classic lines drew an emotional response from the two mates when they saw it in a dishevelled state last year.
They freely admit their restoration of the twin-masted, 15.8-metre (70-foot) long, 30-tonne steel-hulled schooner is a labour of love that is likely to take them two years to complete.
Mr Joiner bought the schooner early last year after it was damaged in floods at Bundaberg.
The yacht had been washed against rocks after breaking its moorings and the two spent weeks in Bundaberg repairing its steel keel, sides and tanks.
They then sailed it from Bundaberg to Warrnambool, encountering big storms that the schooner weathered well despite some mechanical mishaps.
“It’s easy on the body when travelling,” Mr Trewartha said. “It rolls right.”
While a racing sailor at heart, Mr Trewartha said the schooner moved well at about eight to nine knots with all sails up.
Mr Trewartha said no expense had been spared when the African teak-decked boat was originally built and he and Mr Joiner aimed to restore it to its former glory.
Mr Joiner said he hoped to expand the schooner’s berths and run a charter business out of Warrnambool.
A long-term dream was to take the schooner on a voyage across the world, he said.
Taking on big projects is nothing new to the two, both of whom are former professional fishermen.
They previously sailed a huge squid boat, the Chiyo, from Japan to the south-west for the Trewartha family’s fishing business.