Wooden Boat Festival of Geelong preview

Notorious - Wooden Boat Festival 2012
Bob Appleton
The Whyte, Just and Moore Wooden Boat Festival is being held on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th March 2012 when the love of wooden boats throughout the ages will again be on display at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.

An amazing display of well loved and absolutely classic wooden boats have been beautifully restored and maintained for you to cast your eyes over. All purposely but painstakingly popped alongside piers or into pens by their particularly patient owners!

But the highlight will undoubtedly be to meet and hear the amazing pair of nautical narrators, Lin and Larry Pardey. Undoubtedly, the world’s wisest wonders of wooden boat wisdom.

An incredible pair of adventurers, Lin and Larry, have voyaged more than 200,000 miles together on self-built engine-free wooden boats. They’ve been round the world, east and west-about and against the prevailing wind south of the great southern capes.

The stories of their exploits will help to launch your dream with inspiring talks to all would-be sailors. In 2010, the Pardeys were awarded The Cruising Club of America’s prestigious Far Horizons Award! Make sure you don’t miss them!

We all know that wooden boats were used in the discovery of Australia and wooden boats have been the life of Australia ever since.

Another of the many highlights of the festival is the full-size copy of a 15th century caravel, as sailed by early world explorers. It’s the oldest ship re-construction in Australia and is the magnificent replica wooden ship, the caravel, the ‘Notorious’.

‘Santa Maria’, Christopher Columbus’s ship used for explorations in 1492 was a caravel (His was eight metres longer than ‘Notorious’). Chris sailed in company with two smaller caravels, the ‘Pinta’ and ‘Nina’, (each four metres shorter than ‘Notorious’). Early history unfolds before your weather beaten eyes!

‘Notorious’ was built near Warrnambool in SW Victoria, by amateur boat-builder, Graeme Wylie who researched, designed and constructed ‘Notorious’ entirely from reclaimed timber, not having to chop down a single tree! A truly unique endeavour, inspired by the legendary Mahogany Ship.

21 metres long and weighing 70 tonnes, ‘Notorious’ is straight from the 15th century. Rounding the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, Bartholomew Diaz was on board a caravel and the ships used by Ferdinand Magellan for his circum-navigation of the world in 1519 to 1522 were caravels. And, the same ‘Lateen Rig’ is still used on Arab dhows in the Suez Canal today!

You’ll be welcome to board this majestic ship of the late 1400’s, when it is open for inspection during the festival. A once in a lifetime opportunity!

Even if this or all the gleaming polish and varnish doesn’t excite you, then the nautical innuendos of the roving ‘press-gang’ of the port, Cap’n Jack Sparrow, Colin Mockett and Shirley Power, will amuse you as they meander among the boats and visitors, just as they did when I was a lad in the days of yore!

The tall ship Enterprize will be open for sea trips and display entries are coming in thick and fast.

On Saturday afternoon a jazz band will entertain and you can Rock and Roll with the Hoos Bros on Saturday night to help strengthen your sea legs.

Children’s events include a treasure hunt with Cap’n Jack Sparrow and in the RGYC theatre short talks and historic footage will be running all weekend.

On top of all that and during the racing on the bay, static displays will display various aspects and pieces of nautical equipment, rope making and boat building displays where local boat builders will demonstrate chalking, laminating and steam bending.

You’ll be keel-hauled if you dare to miss it!!!

Now let’s ‘Splice the main-brace’!!

Wooden Boat Festival of Geelong website