The 2014 Geelong Wooden Boat Festival enjoyed excellent weather, water conditions and participants. Geelong foreshore was at its best, and was handling a large display of classic vehicles too.

The wooden boats were there, but were in the thick of lots of local boats which weren't necessarily wooden.  People had brought large vessels from various bayside marinas.  A different class and size from my Murray and Goolwa events, and not available for onboard inspection.  Dear sailing ship Enterprize was the hit of the show: great people, and local cruises plus positioning and going home.

One boat wasmissing: the wooden MV Hygeia has been sold, and has gone to New Guinea for heavy maintenance, then will be based in Queensland.  The name is now carried by a modern catamaran ferry.  Both cruise operators were out and about, also a sightseeing helicopter.

Food and drink venues were packed, and there was lots of public entertainment too: music, facepainting, and pirate displays.

In the photos below, look out for Oomoobar.  It was once the family boat for the owners of Arnotts Biscuits.

Story and photos by Roderick Smith.

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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 

  • Become part of a friendly and sociable group of people with a common interest in wooden boats.
  • Receive Shavings, a monthly newsletter bringing timely news about events and activities in Victoria.
  • 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

Join the WBA now