About Us


Fremantle Shipwrights is owned and run by Stephen Handley from Shed 8, Fremantle Sailing Club.

Stephen has been doing shipwrighting and repairs for over 30 years. His apprenticeship was done at Mariner Cruisers (now Riviera / Maritimo) in Sydney, which covered every aspect of boatbuilding from mould, through fit out, to finished vessel.

After his apprenticeship, Stephen was fortunate enough to secure a job refitting a 50 foot timber sloop named Van Demon, on Pittwater in Sydney. In traditional fashion, the refit was done drawing the timbers from a trunk of Huon pine and slabs of Celery Top and Blackwood (all Tasmanian). The fit out was completed replicating parts from his employer’s extensive antique collection. The project took two years to complete and provided invaluable experience in the dying art of shipbuilding.

After working around the slipways of Pittwater and the Hawkesbury River, Stephen relocated to Perth for the Americas Cup, where he started working at Fremantle Boat Manufacturers within the Freedom Marine yard on Mews road, Fremantle. When the owner decided to move north Stephen purchased the business and ran it for 15 years until the yard was sold for redevelopment.

The purchase of Ship Shape Marine provided the opportunity to relocate to the Fremantle Sailing Club. Stephen expanded the business from antifouling and respraying to all aspects of shipwrighting and boat repairs and renamed it Fremantle Shipwrights. Stephen has proudly retained Ship Shape’s clients for their regular maintenance and now services their shipwright needs.

Stephen handley

Stephen handley

Our Services

Fremantle Shipwrights boasts a fantastic team of painters, polishers, and labourers in addition to its experienced shipwrights. Services include antifouling, prop speeding, polishing, two pack resprays, gelcoat repair, sandblasting, and re-coats. Skilled shipwrights can do anything from full or partial fit outs or refurbishments to teak and cork decks, bow thrusters (marriage savers), hull extensions, fibreglass repairs, and just about everything in between. Boat lifts and undercover sheds can all be organised in house. If you need advice, a list of trusted electricians, plumbers, engineers, stainless welders, trimmers, and canopy builders is on hand for the job. As Rottnest Island’s reefs keep shipwrights so busy, all aspects of insurance work are covered also.

See here for a full list of our services.

For more information on our maintenance and repairs, contact us or come down and inspect the work being done in the yard.