Our Story

The Inspiration for The Balmain Boat Company

In 1900, an American named Joshua Slocum was the first person to sail alone around the world. What he saw in Sydney is the inspiration for our boats. In his book, “Sailing Alone Around the World,” Slocum described a local boating culture where means and money were no factor in whether a person could take to the water of the most beautiful harbour in the world.

“Everybody owned a boat. If a boy in Australia has not the means to buy him a boat, he builds one, and it is usually one not to be ashamed of.” If you can hammer a nail, you can build a Balmain Boat.

To buy a Balmain Boat, click here.

Download USA instructions or Australian instructions here to build the BBCo Classic Rowboat.



Nicole Still
Brand Creator | Digital Strategist | Founder of Drink Digital

Nic loves a good story - reading them, telling them, living them. (Just like her father, Bob.)

When Andrew suggested a flat-packed boat and the story of the blue-collar, sailing heritage of Sydney Harbour, she fell in love at first sight. And, the Balmain Boat Company was born.

With a background in journalism and digital marketing, Nic not only saw the potential for sharing amazing stories from the friends, families and fans, who built a Balmain Boat, she also saw the beginning of the story of a family business that could do a lot of good and create a lot of joy.

Being raised in a tight-knit, DIY, American family, in small-town, Loveland, Ohio, USA, she also loved the idea of making parents and grandparents look like legends. Not to mention, the idea of making something with her hands again, like she did as a young girl with her daddy.

Building a hand-crafted boat is in stark contrast to her job sitting behind a laptop all day.

BBCo marks the start of a new chapter for Nic.

Andrew Simpson
Boat Creator | Industrial Designer | Founder of Vert Design

Andrew has always had a calling for the water.

A Sydney seaman in the truest sense: Andrew's lifelong fascination with boats was born when he began learning how to sail at the age 5, with his father, on the waters of Sydney Harbour.

As an industrial designer, Andrew couldn't help tackling the challenge of how to design a boat that anyone can build. The Balmain Boat Company is a personal design project that has turned into the fulfillment of a longtime dream to make boating accessible to the masses.

The passion for sailing and Sydney Harbour is still burning strong and will undoubtedly be passed on to his two beautiful daughters and his son.

You can still find Andrew on the water every week as part-owner of a yacht called French Connection. If you happen to be on Sydney Harbour and see Andrew sailing by, BBCo tied behind French Connnection, give him a shout or honk hello.

He loves to share his passion of sailing and even took Nic sailing for the first time in March 2011.