Quite a few WBA members attended the festival in Hobart this year, and Chris decided to ask some of them to describe it in their own words. Jim Stockton’s response was a simple “overwhelming”, but David O’Dempsey and David Gibson were a bit more fulsome in their descriptions.

“Hobart 2014, well it’s been 4 years since we last visited the show and the weather is superb. Arrived Thursday and went for a quick visit down to the Wooden Boat Centre at Franklin and tagged onto the end of guided tour of the boat school. It’s always an interesting place with wooden boats of all sizes lined up for a bit of tlc.

A quick stroll around Constitution Dock that evening and we can see the semblance of the show beginning to take shape. Friday, and we venture out to the show and immediately stop at the log splitting demonstration, you could easily spend some time here watching the loggers breakdown their logs into fence rails and shingles, next door the smell of huon pine wafts through the air and we ohh and ahh over the huon planks for sale and their prices!

Further on is the shipwright’s tent where they are demonstrating boatie things like caulking, steaming ribs, nailing clinker planks and oar making. With so many things to see the day is spent soaking it all up and admiring the hundreds of boats on display. Saturday and Sunday are repeats of Friday and we finally agree we have seen it all.

We will remember the wind blown sailing on Enterprise, the people we meet including many from WBA Vic and NSW. Salamanca Market and the many entertainers’ in the nearby parks all add to the atmosphere. It must be noted that a certain little blue hulled double ender went into the memory banks, who knows, maybe, just maybe one day there could be one bobbing around the Gippsland Lakes. If you haven’t been, Hobart is well worth a visit next time round.”

David Gibson.

“Well, Margaret and I set off with boat (Acorn15) on the roof and Avil tablets in our stomachs – just in case.   As it turned out the ocean recliners we had booked on the Princess were satisfactory both ways, and the trips uneventful, except for discovering Mr President (Chris) was sitting a few rows behind us.   It’s amazing how many people we met who were over from Melbourne.

My plan was to row the Acorn into Constitution Dock, but the weather was against us.    We did manage to row down the Derwent at New Norfolk, and along the Huon (Egg Island) at Franklin.   Also managed to get the Acorn under sail off Bellerive and had good reports from my captain for the day. Boy!  Sailing demands a level of patience that I may not be gifted with.   Oh for a motor!!

You may remember that I had started an Adirondack Guide Boat (a temporarily stalled project) and so I was pleased to find a similar boat at the Show and to be able to talk to the builder.  He has used some interesting rowlocks on his boat, but at USD $498 a pair I think I’ll look for alternatives.    

He had also used the traditional construction method of many ribs and copper nails – pretty, but as few ribs as possible, and epoxy instead of copper will keep the weight of my boat way down.

The highlight?   The friend we were staying with in Hobart has an Oughtred Tirik in which we set off for the grand parade.   Took some time to get there from Bellerive as the wind was chancy for the first hour or so, but we made it over to Sandy Bay where we were supposed to wave to the wives onshore.   Didn’t see them, so as the fleet was heading up to the dock we decided to join it - head on!   Now I was a little concerned, as there were some bl….y big ungainly ships sailing down onto us, but my skipper assured me that “We’ve got right of way”  and tackled them all in best tradition.  I can’t report everything as I had my eyes shut most of the time, and although we couldn’t see the girls, they could see us and report there was eye catching confusion all around us!

We survived, turned smartly, and behaved ourselves (mostly) for the rest of the parade.

Will I go again?  Probably – but maybe alone by the sounds of things.”

David O’Dempsey