Huge weekend for wooden boats

Clear days and sunshine has made a perfect weekend for wooden hulled boat enthusiasts when Narooma hosted the annual BoatsAfloat weekend.

Boatie’s enjoyed a welcome to Narooma dinner with the BoatsAfloat Committee on Friday Night followed by a cruise around Wagonga Inlet and morning tea at Freshwater Bay.

Saturday, the boats were on display at the Narooma Marina and people flocked to see the amazing timber vessels crafted in all manner of sizes and shapes.

MACs artists held a seaside exhibition of marine themed art works in one of the little boat sheds on the marina.

Refreshments were available with a lot of people choosing to pull up a seat over the clear waters of Wagonga Inlet and listen to the sounds of New Orleans jazz by local band Jazz Alley.

On Sunday the boats set out early and paraded the flotilla along the Mill Bay board walk before returning to the middle of Wagonga Inlet where they observed a minutes silence at 11am for Remembrance Day.

A piper on board the Huon Islander played while a floral wreath was laid on the water.

“It was a very moving moment,” BoatsAfloat Inc president Graham Peachey said.

Later on Sunday the winner of the inaugural best boat at BoatsAfloat Malcolm McKay trophy was awarded to Terry Lance for his 18 foot long timber hull canopy steam launch.

Mr Lance said the boat was traditionally made with planks, top bits clinker and bottom bits carvel.

“I’m not sure about the age of the boat, but I’m guessing it was built in the 1950’s.

“It was restored by a chap in Canberra and a deck was added about 25 years ago.

“I didn’t build the boat, the engine or the boiler, but I have reassembled those pieces into the boat. 

“We had a launching and renaming ceremony on Nepean River about three years ago with all the appropriate incantations to the gods of the sea, a pretty strict procedure you have to go through to avoid bad luck on the water,” he said.

“I’d like to thank the judges on the Narooma BoatsAfloat committee and congratulate them on a great festival.”