WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL — Colorful boats, music, sailing adventures in Port Townsend this weekend
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
Kaci Cronkhite goes over the specs of her boat, Pax, with Lawrence Johnson during last year's Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

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Schedule of events
PORT TOWNSEND — The 37th annual Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival began Friday with races and demonstrations.

Here is a schedule of some of the many events. For a complete schedule, including demonstrations, visit www.woodenboat.org/festival.

■ 9 a.m. — Skippers' meeting for Rowing Regatta; Compass Rose on Commons.
■ 9 a.m. — Skippers' meeting for NW Schooner Cup; maritime center beach.
■ 10 a.m. — Rowing Regatta.
■ 10:20 a.m. — Ship's cannon fires a salute.
■ 11 a.m. — Adventuress sailing.
■ 11 a.m. — Captain Cloud's Latest Adventure; North Star Stage.
■ Noon — Signed tour of festival with ASL interpreter Annie Clark.
■ 1:30 p.m. — Sea life snorkel; maritime center commons.
■ 2:15 p.m. — Kayak Eskimo roll demo; Port Townsend Harbor.
■ 2:20 p.m. — Cannon fire salute.
■ 3 p.m. — NW Schooner Cup race.
■ 3 p.m. — Adventuress sailing.
■ 3 p.m. — One-hour pilot house demonstration and discussion.
■ 3 p.m. — Captain Cloud's Latest Adventure; North Star Stage.
■ 5 p.m. — Cannon fires salute.
■ 6 p.m. — “Saltiest Beard” contest winner announced; Music Stage.
■ 6 p.m. — Fisher Poets; Northwest Maritime Center Maritime Rooms.
■ 7 p.m. — Sea chantey song circle; Marina Room.
■ 7 p.m. — Schooner Cup awards; Music Stage.
■ 7:30 p.m. — Free outdoor dance with The Better Half.

■ 11 a.m. — Adventuress sailing.
■ 10 a.m. — Bell tolls ceremony; Compass Rose on Commons.
■ 10:30 a.m. — Tippecanoe T-37 model boat races; Port Townsend Harbor.
■ Noon — Signed tour of festival with ASL interpreter Annie Clark.
■ Noon — Edensaw Boatbuilding Challenge launch and race; The Point.
■ Noon — Captain Pirate's Treasure Hunt; Cupola House.
■ 1 p.m. — Captain Cloud's Latest Adventure; North Star Stage.
■ 2 p.m. — One-hour pilot house demonstration and discussion.
■ 2:20 p.m. — Cannon fire salute.
■ 3 p.m. — Adventuress sailing.
■ 3 p.m. — Sail-by on Port Townsend Bay.
■ 5 p.m. — Cannon closes festival.
Peninsula Daily News
The three-day 37th annual Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, which began Friday and continues Saturday and Sunday, has grown from a large party to a huge homage to the wooden boat aesthetic.

“It’s truly a celebration,” said Jake Beattie, executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center at 431 Water St.

“A lot of wooden boat festivals are sort of like trade shows, but this is more like a pilgrimage,” he said.

“The Wooden Boat Festival is the rising tide that lifts all of the boats in town.”

The festival at the Point Hudson Marina Festival Grounds at the end of Water Street features more than 300 wooden boats and dozens of indoor and outdoor presentations, with a panoply of experts demonstrating the latest innovations in boatbuilding, equipment and skills.

‘Unique’ festival

The annual festival, which draws sailors from all over, is unique, Beattie said.

“There is nowhere else in the country where the entire town becomes a festival around wooden boats. In Port Townsend, the entire town is engulfed in this festival.”

The festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

An official program of all weekend events is available at the Port Townsend Visitor Information Center, 440 12th St., and the Northwest Maritime Center.

A wristband is required for admission and can be purchased at the festival’s main gate, just outside the maritime center. The ticket counter opens at 9 a.m.

Tickets also can be purchased through Sunday online at www.online at woodenboat.org/festival.

A nonmember multiday ticket is $30, with multiday tickets for seniors, students and military $20.

Single-day tickets are $15 for nonmembers, with the senior, student and military ticket $10.

Members of the Northwest Maritime Center and Wooden Boat Foundation can acquire free or discounted tickets depending on the level of membership at the membership table within the ticket area.

The Wooden Boat Chandlery, just outside the festival grounds, is open to the public free
of charge.

The schooner Adventuress, which is celebrating its centennial year, has high visibility at this year’s festival.
Adventuress sails

Sound Experience, the Port Townsend nonprofit that operates the historic schooner, will offers three-hour sails from the maritime center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

These sailings are discounted for members of Center for Wooden Boats, Port Townsend Marine Trades Association, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Northwest Maritime Center, Wooden Boat Foundation, Jefferson County Historical Society, Port Townsend Library, Port Townsend Sailing Association, Eagle Harbor Yacht Club, Port Townsend Yacht Club, Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding and Sound Experience

For nonmembers, the sails are $65 for adults and $35 for children. Members pay $32.50 for adults and $17.50 for children.

Boat-building competition

Beattie said one of the exciting new events this year is a boatbuilding competition in which entrants have from 9 a.m. Friday to noon Sunday to build a boat from scratch to launch.

Sponsored by Edensaw, which is awarding a $1,000 gift certificate to the winner, entrants were to check in Thursday night with all materials and tools.

None of the wood used can be precut.

“In a lot of these contests, you end up with a bunch of questionable boats and a pile of garbage,” Beattie said.

“But we are seeing what kind of quality boats can be built in three days,” he said. “This is a nice interactive activity.”

There are some restrictions as to which tools can be used and when they can be operated.

“We don’t want people to be using a planer at 2 in the morning,” Beattie said.

“But the general rule is as long as the music is playing, you can be as loud as you want.”

Beattie said building a wooden boat can seem less daunting than building a metal boat, which can require welding skill.

As a result, there is always a new generation of boat enthusiasts who become involved with wooden boats.

“You look at the Adventuress, and most of the crew is under 30, so younger people are getting involved,” Beattie said.

“Young people who work on wooden boats have the experience of their lives that stays with them for a really long time,” he added.

“The experiences and education you get on the water are really powerful, whether it turns into a vocation or a hobby.”

Although he can’t estimate exactly how much money the festival brings in, Beattie said, it is the Northwest Maritime Center’s main fundraising event that pays for its programs throughout the year.

“As a fundraiser, it would be more efficient if we had an auction or something, but you wouldn’t have the celebration of the history or the considerable economic impact on the town,” he said.

For more information, visit www.woodenboat.org/festival.

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 06. 2013 9:31PM
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