EGWBA had agreed not to meet until April when the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival had taken place and all vessels and their crews were back in East Gippsland. The next scheduled event is Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th April when the EGWBA will meet at the Johnsonville Jetty for a meeting for all who can manage it. An overnight stay there will be enjoyed, and will also include a Sunday barbeque lunch followed by a committee meeting. It is expected that some will attend with trailer boats and members of the EGWBA and our friends from Melbourne are also welcome with trailer parking available on private land adjacent to the jetty.

Unfortunately Bernard's yacht Nellie is still moored awaiting its new mast which Bernard is very keen to complete.

We anticipate some vigorous discussion and perhaps some storytelling from those who ventured across Bass Strait for the Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival including vessels seen and other experiences whilst there.

Our next meeting will be on Mother's Day 12th May and members will be advised of the venue in due course.

The weather has been excellent over the Summer and Autumn appears to be living up to its reputation as ideal for boating on the Lakes and therefore we cordially invite all those with a passion for "messing around" in boats to visit and share with members from the East!

Gary Stewart.

South Australian Wooden Boat Festival

The Port of Goolwa, SA was a hive of activity for the Wooden Boat Festival on 23 and 24 February, 2013. Wooden boats of all sizes were afloat and also some on trailers for everyone to admire on a hot two days.

Doug and I hooked up our camper trailer, leaving Paynesville on Wednesday morning, arriving in Goolwa on Thursday afternoon, after an uneventful trip. We had booked into the Goolwa Camping and Tourist Park. On Friday our friends, Jenny and Neville Smith arrived and the rest of the park filled up with people there for the Festival.

Goolwa is the last town on the Murray River, not far from where the river meets the sea. Goolwa was settled in 1841. It was first called Town-on-the-Goolwa, believed to be an Aboriginal word for bend or elbow. Goolwa was an important river port with paddle steamers towing barges from NSW and Victoria laden with wool, grain and other produce then returning with general supplies. Cargo was then taken first by horse drawn train to Port Elliott and then by steam train to Port Victor. River trade dwindled when the railway opened between Adelaide and Morgan in 1878.

Over the festival weekend the Cockle Train (steam) ran from Goolwa to Victor Harbour several times which added a lovely attraction for the crowd, along with the PS Oscar W and the PS Marion both running cruises each day. Guest of honour for the Festival was Griff Rhys Jones who opened the festival on Saturday, participated in the Rough and Ready boat building and sailing competition and gave a couple of talks about his own wooden boats. Goolwa is the PS Oscar W's home, however the PS Marion had travelled down river from Mannum for the weekend bringing Griff Rhys Jones and his wife Jo.

There was a full on-water and on-land program. Water events got underway at 9 am on Saturday with rowing sculls, followed by speed boats beautiful varnished vessels and the lovely sound of well tuned motors working hard. Canoes, kayaks and row boats had a turn on the water, as did the sail boats. The small sailing boats where mainly mirrors. Putt putt and steam launches, were followed by paddle steamers and boats over 6 metres. The Halvorsen cruisers had a parade and then later there were some dragon boats. A team of men from Port Fairy, Victoria, did a lot of rowing in their whale boat.

A huge marquee was home to food, wine and continuous music and other food and drink stalls were abundant. Of course there were other stalls selling mainly things related to boating. Other things to see were a photographic exhibition, art gallery and model paddle steamers.

Saturday saw many boats don fairy lights for a parade and the fireworks from the Hindmarsh bridge were spectacular. The festival closed on the Sunday with a grand parade at 4 pm. We took a cruise on the PS Marion as the PS Oscar W and the Marion led the grand parade. It was difficult to estimate how many boats were at the festival, however there were over 50 in the final grand parade.

We really enjoyed the weekend and would recommend that anyone who likes wooden boats would have a good time.

Marion Gullickson

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Membership is open to all wooden boat enthusiasts. Many members own boats, others do not, but all enjoy the chance to get together and "muck about with boats". Their boats include rowing boats, putt-putts, radio controlled models, pond yachts, canoes, kayaks, steam-powered boats, sailing dinghies, dayboats and ocean-going yachts.

The Wooden Boat Association is based in Melbourne, with regular sailing days scheduled on Albert Park Lake, as well as other venues around Melbourne, and at least one weekend each year elsewhere in the state.

Especially welcome is the first-time wooden boat builder or restorer, who can expect to receive ample advice and assistance in getting their dream onto the water.

Benefits of Wooden Boat Association Membership 

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  • Regular meetings with a wide range of interesting speakers and activities. Our usual venue is the Albert Park Yacht Club, with visits to other venues from time to time.
  • Monthly sailing days, on Albert Park Lake and other locations close to Melbourne.
  • Use of the Association's own boats, two traditional sailing boats, Begonia and Lindsay Symons, our canoe Stringybark, and our extremely rare Port Philip 12.
  • Access to the Association's extensive library of boatbuilding and other nautical books.
  • Companionship with sister associations in other states

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