Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Boat Folk Video Series

Australian Wooden Boat Festival – Folk Boat Video Series


The good folks behind the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart have like a lot of people and events been cruelly affected by CV19 but unlike a lot that just rolled over – AWBF has been hosted some innovative channels to keep their festival top of mind with woodys around the world. One of the gigs is tagged – Boat Folk, a video series that profiles the characters and wooden boats the festival attracts. Behind each of these unique vessels is a unique person (or group of people) with a wealth of knowledge, fascinating stories, and a novel perspective on life.

Number 2 in the Boat Folks series features Ben Marris, owner of Saona , Ben Marris was Chair of the AWBF for many years. Saona was the last boat built by Charles Lucas in his yard in 1936. Ben and wife Jane purchased Saona in 1993 and have since sailed her in the 1998 Tall Ships race from Sydney to Hobart, circumnavigated Tasmania. As members of the Kettering Yacht Club, the couple now cruise the waters surrounding Bruny Island on her and enjoy Wednesday night races with family. Saona is one of a small number of wooden boats that have attended every festival since its inception in 1994. 

Camp Cruising the Maine Coast

Camp Cruising the Maine Coast

Some of you will be aware of the name Steve Stone – Steve is one of the founders of the uber cool weblog – Off Center Harbor that I regularly plug on WW, OCH is a subscription driven weblog that just about answers every question you would ever want an answer to concerning wooden boats and enjoying life afloat. 

The team at OCH have been suffering bad from cabin fever as the USA has been savaged by Covid, so as things have eased up in terms of getting out and about – there is some serious on-the-water catch-up happening.

Steve has just started a cruise of the entire Maine Coast (refer chart below) in a 19’ open Caledonia Yawl named Howdy.  Each day Steve is posting images and short video clips of the cruise on Instagram that you can follow on the bottom of the members’ home page (signed in) on Off Center Harbor. You don’t need an Instagram account to follow all that on the members home page of Off Center Harbor. And for those that aren’t OCH subscribers – you can also follow on OCH’s Instagram page directly as well, link below – 

OCH’s Instagram.      https://www.instagram.com/offcenterharbor/

I spotted Steve wearing a waitematawoodys t-shirt, so thought I had better give his trip a plug, so far there is some very cool scenery and boat footage – so woodys check in each day and see how the 260+ mile journey is unfolding 🙂

Check out the OCH weblog here offcenterharbor.com

RAINDANCE UPDATE: Following on from the TLC that RD received at the Slipway Milford, I have had Moon Engines upgrading and servicing all the bits that are bolted on – then a quick polish with WD40 – I know, no one sees it, but I know 🙂

Ngarunui – 1967 Whangarei > Noumea Yacht Race Start

Ngarunui – 1967 Whangarei > Noumea Yacht Race Start
The above launch appeared in a series of photos the Lew Redwood had on his fb, all taken in the days leading up to and including the 1967 Whangarei to Noumea yacht race.The boat looks very familiar to me, but before I make a fool of myself (again) I’ll call for input from the WW readers as to its identity.

As correctly ID’ed by several eagle eyed woodys – the boat is Ngarunui – WW links below for lots of photos and details 🙂
https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/08/22/the-building-of-ngarunui/
https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/06/03/mystery-boat-03-06-2015/

The other day, Bay of Islands woody – Hylton Edmonds draw my attention to the May 2021 issue of the UK magazine Classic Boating and the editors (Stefan Meyric-Hughes) page 5 editorial column. Which I have reproduced below. I’m sure you will all agree with Hylton’s comment to me – “It’s  succinct, brilliant, and a poignant reminder for all wooden boat “nutters“ around the world not least us in NZ who persevere under, at times seemingly,  never ending odds,  to final success and that long dream of re-launch day…

Eastern Star Double Oops

EASTERN STAR DOUBLE OOPS
The photos above, dated 1961, from the Nelson Photo News (via Lew Redwood) show the Nelson based launch Eastern Star after she was re-floated following a double collision with a rock off Harding Point. The vessel, owned by V. McAuley at the time, hit the rock and was holed. The crew managed to beach the boat but during the salvage operations, she hit again and sank – remember folks this was in the days before GPS, but still – twice!

Sitting in 30’ of water a team of divers assisted in bringing her to the surface where a temporary patch was done to the bow. Eastern Star was then towed back to Nelson where she was slipped for what was described a ‘extensive repairs. The photos were taken by Mrs. McAuley.


Do we know what became of the vessel and any details on her?