A RECORD number of 53 wooden and traditional boats of all sizes participated in this year’s Narooma BoatsAfloat festival.
Boats came from all over Australia joining the local boats for a weekend of activities on the scenic waters of Wagonga Inlet.
The boats on Saturday morning motored over to Paradise Point for a picnic before returning to the Narooma marina for an afternoon of friendship and jazz.
Sunday morning saw the boats join up on Forsters Bay before heading off down the inlet under the bridge and along the boardwalk for the grand parade where large crowds gathered to watch the boats in perfect conditions.
The afternoon saw the boaters enjoy a barbecue at the Taylors slipway sheds.
“Well it's over and what a beauty,” organiser Mark Westwood said.
“There were 55 officially registered vessels from tiny sailboats and kayaks right up to 10m plus serious boats, and every sort of propulsion from sail and paddles, petrol Blaxland, Simplex and Stuart Turners to diesels and three, yes three, steam powered boats!”
Boats came from as far as Latrobe Valley in Victoria and Smiths Lake in NSW and from along the coast in between, as well as inland from the ACT and Southern Highlands.
“And didn't Wagonga Inlet turn on the charm...great weather, blue, blue water and the crowds visiting Forsters Bay on Saturday then hundreds lining the shores, the bridge and the Mill Bay Boardwalk for the Grand Parade on Sunday,” Westwood said.
Then there was the social side of things for the boaties.
“There was the Friday welcome barbecue; the Saturday morning tea picnic at Paradise Point; the Saturday evening dinner at "The Inlet" with delicious and copious food, and a great auction with the proceeds going to the Narooma Men's Shed; and finally the Festival Farewell barbecue with a delicious lunch by Garry Ebbeling.”
The new management at the Narooma Marina allowed 29 boats to be tied up for the appreciative public to come and see on Saturday afternoon.
“We had two sheds full of MACS art to check out and all topped off by two hours of jazz from "Jazzpack" - all for free! Fantastic!”
The 2014 Best Boat Award was won by Brisbane Waters’ Boyd Myers and his launch MV Allwood, which won the award back in 2012.
There was a long list of sponsors and supporters to thank, but Westwood said “a special thanks to all the boaties who travelled, and to all the local boats, to all the public who shared the weekend with us and to anyone involved it's a big thank-you from us at Narooma BoatsAfloat.”
All the organisers are looking forward to the 10th Festival in 2015.