Dale Appleton photos from the Geelong Wooden Boat Festival 2012


Dale Appleton dropped into the Wooden Boat Festival at Geelong, Australia the other day, and tells me he’ll send over a brief report soon. In the meantime he has put some photos on his Flickr account, including these of the newly restored Ruby Merle, a Port Philip Couta boat.

Dale reports that the restoration work is a fantastic job.

Noticing the leather on the gaff jaws, he had this to say: ‘A detail that struck me: kangaroo leather is the choice material for gaff jaws and other high wearing points. If you have ever seen two kangaroos fight, you will understand just why the leather is so tough.’

Nice shots Dale – many thanks for them! More photos of Couta boats taken by Dale can be found in an earlier post.

A raid in paradise: Tawe Nunnagh

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It’s chilly, raining and grey here in Kent as cruel winter descends, but on the other side of the world folks in Tasmania are planning what they’re calling a raid in paradise: Tawe Nunnagh.

The photos above suggest the  description may be correct. I want to go – I’d love at least one more boating holiday – but of course I don’t deserve it and it wouldn’t be exactly practical…

The local Aboriginal words mean ‘going by canoe’, but the boats can be of any design despite the name – however, boats taking part must be of predominantly wooden construction. Participants may bring their own craft, or hire or crew  small craft owned by the Living Boat Trust.

The raid itself is a nine-day expedition involving sailing and rowing boats through the D’Entrecasteaux Channel between Bruny Island and the mainland of southern Tasmania.

The route stretches from Recherche Bay, the most southerly inhabited settlement in Australia, to the Tasmanian capital of Hobart, and is timed to finish on the first day of the biennial Australian Wooden Boat Festival to be held on the 11-14 February 2011.

Ports of call are Southport (for the local regatta on the5th February 5th), Mickey’s Bay on Bruny Island, the Far South Adventure Camp near Strathblane, Cygnet, Alonnah on Bruny Island, and Oyster Cove, before sailing the last leg to Hobart for the opening of the Wooden Boat Festival on 11th February. Each day will involve a sail or row between sheltered campsites, with radio support and safety craft, and a meal will be provided each evening, followed by local speakers and fun activities.

For more information, see the Living Boat Trust website.

The First Melbourne Wooden Boat Festival

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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.

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