41st WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL – Port Townsend, Washington (September 2017)
Report and pictures by Steve Detwiler, Lake Champlain and Adirondack Chapters of ACBS

For a “maritime aficionado”, there’s no better place to be in September than the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.  This is one of the largest festivals in the Pacific Northwest and it is sponsored by the Northwest Maritime Center.  This year there were roughly 250 registered boats, in the water and on land including eight Tall Ships. Pictured above is The Point Hudson Marina – site of the Festival.   

Instructor Jody Boyle of the NorthWest School of Wooden BoatBuilding demonstrates the fine art of “caulking”.

What sets this event apart from other boat shows is that there are so many presentations -over 100.  The experts share their stories and their knowledge, with topics ranging from technical how-tos, such as how to steam-bend a plank and how to use a sextant, to adventure stories. 

In addition to Tall Ship charter sailing, there are also free boat ride offerings including a sail/power boat for 5-year olds, paddle-boarding off the beach, longboat rides, motor launch tours, rowboats and kayaks. Did I mention live music with dancing, drinking, eating, nautical movies and an intensive Team Boat Building Challenge?

Author’s wife Beverly and sister Tina aboard the 1913 Schooner Adventuress.

This was four full fun-packed (and educational) days – a long-time “bucket list item” for the author who was joined by his wife, sister and brother-in-law.  The trip also included a 2nd “bucket list item” – a four day Power Boat Handling Course aboard a 42-foot Grand Banks trawler in the San Juan Islands. 

Thanks, Steve!  I wonder how many will add this to their “bucket list” now.

Do you have vintage boat or boating experiences that others would enjoy?  Send  your pictures, reports, announcements, and boat biographies to [email protected]

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