Category Archives: History

The First Melbourne Wooden Boat Festival

[ad name=”intheboatshed-post”]

Wooden Boat Association members of the Melbourne and East Gippsland areas out on the water – click on the image for a video of local members’ boats

The people of Melbourne are going to have fun this coming weekend – for their Victoria Harbour is to be home to the first Melbourne Wooden Boat Festival.

The event involves all of the major wooden boat and classic yacht groups in the area, and is intended to be a great event for boating enthusiasts but also connect the broader public with the spirit of wooden boats, boating and traditional boatbuilding.

It sounds like a big old do, with on-water and landside displays, model sailing and racing boats, trade displays, shanty singers, in-harbour sailing, working boats displays, boat maintenance classes, a shipwright’s conference. Naturally there will be sailing, rowing, steamships, tall ships, knot tying, boatbuilding, book stores, classic powerboats and, thankfully, the coastguard will be on hand to tell people how to do it all safely. It’s all being organised by the enterprising¬†woodenboat.com.au.

If you’d like to receive a weekly intheboatshed.net newsletter sign up here.

A last ditch attempt to save the PS Ryde Isle of Wight paddle steamer ferry

PS Ryde at the Island Harbour Marina on the River Medina between Newport and East Cowes. Photo copyright Kevin Flynn and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence

I’m saddened to report that another interesting old vessel is in mortal danger – but perhaps there is just a chance that a petition to No 10 (see below) might make a difference.

The PS Ryde was built for the Southern Railway in 1936 and for many years operated the Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pierhead route.

Sadly, the petition is very much a last-ditch effort – for some time the PS Ryde Trust has been trying to purchase the vessel for preservation and restoration, but after promising progress negotiations have broken down, and the dismantling planned by the owners has started. The petition is aimed at halting the scrapping.

The petition, which closes on the 2nd March, can be found here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/PSRyde