Monday, September 13, 2010

Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival 2010

September 10-12, 2010 were the dates for the 34th annual Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington.

A maritime vortex in the Salish Sea, Port Townsend has an international reputation for the preservation and perpetuation of traditional wooden boat building, restoration and lore.

The original festival was a home grown affair, an entirely grassroots, no hype gathering of local salty citizens.

That was the last time I was there, thirty three years ago. I happened to be in town and impulsively bought my first fixed keel boat that weekend, a Picaroon named Scud moored in the boat basin.

Many of my friends attend or exhibit at this fine show every year, so I'm informed about how it has grown but the actual event was even more than expected.

It's come a long way in three decades!

Hundreds of boats and exhibits, live music, great food, demonstrations, workshops and thousands of visitors.


Here is a slide show to give you some idea of how packed the weekend was. From mega yachts to homemade dingy tenders, there is something for every wood boat enthusiast at this festival. Regular readers will recognise some of the boats. If you have any questions or imput about a particular boat, please check in with a comment below...

It will not be another three decades before I go again, guaranteed!


EyeInHand said...

Wow! Terrific set of photos! Thanks!

- Barry

doryman said...

The show is just packed. The boats are rafted up so close together! And the docks are full of people - very polite. Often, someone would stand back and let me take a shot.
Taking a lot of photos is a great way to visit the show at leisure later and see what might have been missed.
I hear that you are gunning to have your Melonseeds in the Mid-Atlantic. Ambitious man! (pun intended)

EyeInHand said...

True. And true.

It's a long shot, but that's what I'm aiming for.

; )

David G said...

m - sorry I missed you. I had to bail early on Sunday, but was there starting Thursday evening. Best of these shows I've been to. Just not enough time to see all the gorgeous boat, yak with everyone I wanted to, see all the great demos, and still find time to drink a beer or two. We do a Coots breakfast on Saturdays at 10 am - you should try and make that next time!

doryman said...

We tried to make breakfast on Saturday, but after parking and walking dogs it was close to eleven, so we decided the party was over. I met Jamie and soon after, John on the docks so I assume breakfast was over. Saw a lot of people expected and unexpected. There is too much to see and do in a weekend. This could be a week long event, easily.

Brandon Ford said...

Thanks for the pictures Michael. Wish I could have been there. I was at the show in 1979 and several times since, but not in the last 10 years. I'll have to go again.


doryman said...

I talked with a few people who live in PT and have seen the changes that have transformed the waterfront. For me the changes aren't so personal, but for long time residents, it has been a process of dislocation. The old boat basin was well used and had a lot of soul. The new Maritime Center is, for some, a boondoggle promoted by the rich that has cut off the public from the waterfront. It is true that though the new buildings are built in "period" style, they are huge and one can no longer see the water from the street.
Kaci Cronkhite, Wooden Boat Festival Director claims that the development follows the dreams of the "family" of founders of the first wooden boat festival in North America. I'm not sure who she is referring to. As a participant in the original party, I'd hardly say those folks ever intended such exploitation.

You will remember the festival we started in Olympia in '80, Brandon. You probably covered it for the newspaper. It was simply a gathering of boat builders and friends to celebrate a dying art and a simple lifestyle. The show today bears no resemblance to the original. That's what happens when money and marketing take over a good thing.

Not to say the show in PT is deficient. I had a lot of fun and that's what it's all about. And it's good to see all those fine old boats so well preserved. When we were younger those boats were in constant danger of sinking!

Brandon Ford said...

My impression is that PT WBF is a little to big for me. And I would have a hard time believing that what it's turned into is what the "founders" had in mind, but such is progress.

I sure do remember the first Olympia wooden boat festival. I did cover it for a couple of years in the 80s, but can't remember if i covered the first one. Has it turned into a big deal now too? I have a son in Olympia, but I haven't been to their WBF in more than a decade either.

Maybe I should stick to Toledo and Depoe Bay. Although the Open Boat Festival in BC this weekend sounds like a fun deal. Too bad I've got family obligations this weekend.

doryman said...

The Olympia Show was pretty much exclusively about wood fixed keel sailboats originally. In fact, I was shouted off the course one year as I used my old beat up motor dory as a photo boat during the sail-by. (get that #%^* stink-pot out of my way!)

Today it hosts some very pretty classic motor boats, nice but not my cuppa tea.

Jhon smith said...

this is really treat for all of us. i will definitely join this.

Bhimashankar said...

this is really a nice post. i liked it. keep it up.

Unknown said...

David Atkinson - Australia

Visiting the Seattle Center for Wooden Boats we found out about the show - could not miss it and enjoyed every display and moment we spent. Thanks to all the staff for their great efforts,we will be back.