We are delighted that a team of experienced American boat builders, under the direction of master boat builder Sean Koomen, will be arriving before Christmas to commence a build of the classic Haven 12.5 in the boat-mad town of Franklin on the Huon River south of Hobart. The team, hand-picked from scores of applicants, are ready to embark on a 8-week build at the Wooden Boat Centre that will finish with the display of the finished craft at the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival (8-11 February 2019) in Hobart. The project is a remarkable trans-national effort, with many materials coming from Port Townsend, Washington – know for its thriving marine trades including sailmakers, foundries and riggers – and the principal timber being the unique Tasmanian celery top pine, reclaimed from the highland lakes of the remote West Coast by Tasmanian start-up Hydrowood.
As Port Townsend gears up for its own Wooden Boat Festival (7-9 September). AWBF Media Manager Bob Catchpole is on his way to the USA to spruik the Aussie festival to the locals. There are a lot of them, because this small Northwestern town, two hours northwest of Seattle, floods with visitors for the annual convocation of wooden boats and everything to do with them. Port Townsend is also the jumping-off point for the famous R2AK, or Race to Alaska. Race boss Daniel Evans is another American guest attending the AWBF, to throw down the gauntlet for Australian teams to compete in the gruelling 750-mile wilderness ‘no motor, no support, all the way to Alaska’ race.
With thanks and credit to the North West School of Wooden Boat Building, here’s an excerpt from their quarterly publication Hull Raiser: