Wooden Boat Festival proves bigger and better than ever

THE 2015 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival was “an outstanding success”, organisers say.

Australian Wooden Boat Festival general manager Paul Cullen said he was delighted by this year’s survey data and the volume of positive feedback received.

“More than 220,000 people attended the festival over the four days, which is a 10 per cent increase on 2013 figures,” he said.

“Reliable post code data from a comprehensive survey indicates 37.3 per cent of attendees came from interstate and 2.2 per cent from overseas.

“This represents at least $30 million in direct tourism spending in the Hobart region.”

Mr Cullen said 396 official volunteers registered for the festival including Scouting Tasmania members, who managed the Festival Waste Reduction Program.

“The program involved the removal of clean recyclables out of the general waste, which not only generated an income for the scouts, but also reduced the volume of landfill generated by the festival,” he said.

“There were more than 500 wooden boats registered during the festival, with a handful of withdrawals due to severe weather conditions interstate preventing them to complete their journeys south.

“The irony of this situation was that Tasmania enjoyed four beautiful, almost cloudless summer days for the duration of the festival.”

The Maritime Marketplace section of the festival was kept very busy with 64 commercial exhibitors from across Australia and New Zealand selling everything from propellers to paint.

The International Wooden Boat Symposium was also popular with five international and two interstate presenters, as well as eight local speakers, entertaining audiences with a wide range of boating topics.

The entertainment program also attracted acts from as far as Canada, Scotland and Ireland, with a total of 56 different acts in five venues over the four days providing a variety of performances.

“We enjoyed four days of perfect summer weather, huge crowds attending and a really convivial atmosphere,” Mr Cullen said.

Mr Cullen said the boats were gorgeous, the racing was exciting and the craft displays were mesmerising.

“We have to thank the hundreds of boat owners who contributed so much to the spectacle by preparing their boats and getting them to Hobart, and the hundreds more volunteers who came forward to produce this great free public event,” he said.

“We are already working on the next one. 2017 will be the 375th anniversary of Abel Tasman’s historic landfall in Van Diemen’s Land and we are

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