Planning ramps up for annual boat festival

THE Hobart waterfront will be a treasure trove of local and international boating history in early February when it plays host to the 12th biennial MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

The free maritime event, which will be held this year from 10-13 February, is a showcase of the largest collection of classic and modern wooden boats in the southern hemisphere.

Australian Wooden Boat Festival chairman Steve Knight said the event attracted significant international attention, with participants from around the world working to finalise their contributions and travel plans.

“Six Dutch boatbuilding students and their instructor are currently beavering away more than 17,000-kilometres from their homes in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, building a traditional Dutch sail boat from Tasmanian timber at the Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin,” he said.

“This boat – a BM16m2 – will be completed and launched as part of the festival, which has a Dutch theme to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the discovery of our island by the Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman.”

Alongside the exhibition of a number of unique boats, the festival will also feature a range of local food, live entertainment, music, demonstrations and displays.

This includes the Maritime Marketplace at Princes Wharf No. 1, the Children’s Circus School at Parliament House Lawns, the Tasmanian Fishing Industry display, the International Wooden Symposium and the Shipwrights Village.

“On both coasts of America, world experts are also preparing their presentations for the International Wooden Boat Symposium, and renowned maritime photographer Ben Mendlowitz is gathering his best shots to explain his mastery in capturing the beauty of wooden boats,” Mr Knight said.

“The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) will also be hosting an exhibition exploring Abel Tasman’s exploits in greater detail, which will be held at TMAG’s Lower Bond Store.”

For more information about the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival, visit www.australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au.

Caption: Dutch boat-builders hard at work preparing their BM16m2 ahead of the 12th biennial Australian Wooden Boat Festival, to be held at the Hobart waterfront from 10-13 February 2017.

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