Sydney's Classic & Wooden Boat Festival
It’s back, Sydney’s Classic & Wooden Boat Festival and it caters for more than wooden boats. Classic and wooden boat owners and boating enthusiasts alike; this will be your biggest weekend of the year! The festival is free to the general public.
Boats abreast showing their colours.
April 2018 will see many important events fighting for prominence on your calendar and The Sydney Classic & Wooden Boat Festival (CWBF) should be underlined and in bold! The festival of the boatie year is returning to the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) from Friday, to Sunday, April 13-15, 2018. The atmosphere will be colourful from the marina in Cockle Bay full of boats to model boats scooting around in the basin. Boats on trailers will be placed from the Pyrmont Bridge, sprawling all the way along both sides of the museum precinct down to wharf 7. The water, footpath and air will be alive with the hubbub of boatie’s scuttlebutt and pride.
The organising committee’s goals for 2018 include, having over 150 vessels, great and small, afloat and ashore for your viewing pleasure, to have many a demonstration to view, harbour cruises, children’s activities and plenty of opportunities for young and not-so-young to be involved! With over 15, 000 visitors in 2016 the organiser’s ‘ashore’ you, 2018 will be a festival not to be missed.
The theme for the 2016 festival was a celebration of the ‘best of Australia’s maritime and boating heritage’. Plans are well under way to make 2018 bigger and better. Each festival has a different theme aiming towards the culmination of a six-year journey to 2020 to mark 250 years since Captain James Cook’s arrival in Australia.
So what is that What's-A-MaCallit?
This is being aided through input and contribution from the Wooden Boat Association of NSW, boating associations including the Halvo’s, Historical Skiffies, Steam Boat Association of Australia, Sydney Heritage Fleet and major harbour sailing clubs. There is clearly a lot to get excited about as the three-day celebration of vintage, veteran and wooden boats reflects the time ‘when boats were made of wood and the men were made of steel’.
Maybe, we should mention steel boats also, as many great examples are present on Sydney Harbour. One of these is the James Craig which is one of few iron square rigged ships still operational in the world. I have good scuttlebutt that she will be doing cruises on the harbour over the weekend along with the Sydney Heritage Fleets Lady Hopetoun. This will be a great opportunity to spend some time around steam to refresh the memory for all of you mature enough to have spent time steaming real ships.
There is also the museum’s collection of old warries including the O-Boat Ex HMAS Onslow, Ex HMAS Vampire and the patrol boat Ex HMAS Advance. For all of you old matelot’s, the Action Stations Exhibition and theatrette provide a pretty realistic recollection of life at sea on a warrie that will send a shiver down your spine.
As we saw in previous CWBF’s there will be a large fleet of Halvorsen’s from 25-60ft bobbing alongside examples of some of the best wooden and early fibreglass boats ever built in Australia including my Clansman. With a rise in amateur and professional boat builders restoring and building with the finesse of a bygone era there will be something for everyone. There are a growing number of traders who will be displaying their wares. For example the team from DRIVE Marine and BoatCraft Pacific will be there showing off the advantages of Bote Cote and the other products you need to build repair or restore your boat and why they are ‘a Safer Way to Work’.
If history wets your whistle, the fleet of restored Army Workboats (AWB) with some 300 plus built during the Second World War will be a sight to see. Then there is the Ena which is a masterpiece with a long history and now being pampered at the ANMM. Plus, of course, the more the merrier as we would love you to bring your launch or yacht around to make a weekend of it with likeminded people who love vintage and classic boats and the infectious enthusiasm towards restored boats from yesteryear and masterpieces by those who love to build boats from wood. Expressions of Interest closed on November 17, 2017. Although, you are still welcome to submit an application after that date to exhibit, but you may find yourself on a waiting list if all posies are taken up. To make an application for the museum or Cockle Bay marina all relevant information and Expressions of Interest Forms are located at www.anmm.gov.au/cwbf
Children having fun onboard.
Planning is well under way for a Quick-N-Dirty Boat Building Competition. Are you a whizz at designing and building weird and wonderful boats? Or have you always wanted to build a boat in two and a half hours? Then, the festival wants you and your mates to spare some time on the Saturday to hatch a master plan.
If this sounds like you, the Q-N-D Competition is the place to be. Front up on the Saturday with your design / ideas ready for a hectic two and a half hours. DRIVE Marine Services and BoatCraft Pacific are sponsoring the event and you will be supplied with all the materials, including two sheets of plywood and doctored EPOX-E-Glue to hold together your masterpiece. Come back on Sunday to add some flare with a splash of colour and design before jumping in the water Sunday afternoon ready for the test of durability with some creative cheating while manoeuvring around a course to become the Q-N-D champion.
So, if you think you have some mates who could pull off the prize nominate your team. Teams are limited to a maximium of six due to space, so get your application in now, at www.anmm.gov.au/cwbf
The 2016 Sydney CWBF saw the first Novice Canoe Building Challenge by teams of high school students. Given the great success in the first round, the challenge is set to go ahead again! In teams, the students will build a Bellinger Canoe over three days. Before, launching head first, into Darling Harbour to race their canoe around Cockle Bay to test their teacher’s dexterity.
We hear you ask – “How can students with no prior knowledge build a canoe ready for the water in three days?” Well, this is made possible with the expert guidance of Brian Jones (the designer of the Bellinger and retired primary school teacher) using materials donated by DRIVE Marine and BoatCraft Pacific. Pulling together pre-cut panels of 4mm plywood is made simple through Brian’s expert guidance and the use of cable ties along with Bote-Cote Epoxy Resin thickened with Bote-Cote’s easy to mix Gluing and Filleting Filler. The other key player in making it happen is Alesha Bleakley – the dynamo teacher who is charged with digging up the teams and looking after the myriad of paperwork required to get students out of the classroom. There are a couple of videos on You Tube under ‘Bellinger Canoe’ which show the students having a ball pulling a canoe into shape.
It is amazing to see green students working cooperatively at a swift pace bringing the canoes to life. Close of day one, will see all teams with canoes pulled into shape using cable ties and ready to have a ‘gooping’ good time with filleting all of the seams. By Saturday evening all seams will be filleted and a coat of Bote-Cote applied on the inside.
Q-N-D action on the water.
If you know a high school that may be interested in entering a team in the canoe build or you are interested in entering the Quick-N-Dirty Boat Building Competition contact the ANMM at http://www.anmm.gov.au/whats-on/calendar/classic-wooden-boat-festival or the C&WBF Project Manager at 02 9298 3777.
These are a few of the activities that are being planned to occupy the time of those young and old over the weekend. There will also be model boat displays, marine artworks and many other activities for you to ensure you need a couple of days to take it all in.