Thanks to generous sponsorship from the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) and the University of Tasmania, the second International Wooden Boat Symposium will again have a great line-up of speakers from here and overseas. Let us whet your appetite with some names, many of which will be well known to you:
Benjamin Mendlowitz Anyone who has ever browsed a copy of ‘WoodenBoat Magazine’ or perused his ‘Calendar of Wooden Boats’ will have seen Ben’s photographic work in all its glory. He is the master of capturing the beauty of wooden boats by showing the detail of a perfect joint or displaying the glory of a vessel under full sail. Ben will talk about his life and work, and release some professional tips along the way.
Ron Holland One of the best known yacht designers in the world, New Zealand born Ron is now based in Vancouver, Canada. He was only eighteen when he designed his first yacht and from there he went on to design vessels for a ‘who’s who’ of the sailing world, including British Prime Minister Ted Heath. Ron will talk about his love affair with wood as a building material, and how it can be incorporated into modern, high end boats.
Lin Pardey Lin and her husband Larry have criss-crossed the oceans of the world in small, engine-less wooden boats and inspired many an armchair adventurer to actually get out and do it themselves. Their two best known boats, Serrafyn and Taleisin, were designed by Lyle Hess and built by the couple themselves, who then went on to sail them a combined 120,000+ miles. Lin will talk about wooden boat restoration and how practical logic should overcome romantic lust!
Chris Burke Chris is a local boat-builder with an affinity for Lyle Hess designed boats, one of which he owns. He will talk about Lyle Hess the man, and the boats he designed. Chris then plans to lead an informative tour of the Hess designed boats moored at the Festival.
Dr Nigel Erskine Head of Research for Australian National Maritime Museum, Nigel is also a keen diver. In recent years he has been combining these two interests in a hunt for James Cook’s Endeavour. His presentation will describe how the ANMM partnered with a US group to locate the remains of this historic ship.
Eric Blake Eric has been building boats ever since he left school and is a Project Manager at the Brooklin Boat Yard in Brooklin, Maine. He also teaches boatbuilding courses at the WoodenBoat School each summer. He will be telling us how modern boat-building techniques can be combined with traditional aesthetics and materials – especially wood.
Together with co-founders Steve Stone and Ben Mendlowitz, Eric will also talk about the aims and values of ‘Off Center Harbor’, the website designed for wooden boat enthusiasts world-wide.
Bruce Stannard A regular contributor to ‘Afloat’ and ‘WoodenBoat Magazine’, Bruce will be talking about piners’ punts, those fantastic workhorses of the West Coast of Tasmania, and the heroic adventures of piners working in the wet and wild conditions of that area. He will be joined by Graeme Broxam who will provide some history on the design of these boats.
Donna Carstens Donna is Indigenous Programs Manager for ANMM and will give an overview of the diversity of design, materials and building techniques of indigenous watercraft.
David Payne David is Curator of Historic Vessels at ANMM. He will bring us up to date on the activities and the value of the Australian Register of Historic Vessels.
Jeffrey Mellefont Jeffrey is a Research Associate of ANMM and now spends much of the year in Indonesia. He will talk about the fascinating heritage of wooden boat-building in that country.
Wayne Parr Wayne is a manager at the Tim Phillips’ Wooden Boat Shop in Sorrento, the ‘home of the couta boat’. If you own a wooden boat and want the best possible finish for your paint and varnish work, come and listen to Wayne as he gives away the accumulated secrets of many years’ experience.
And last, but not least, two speakers on a Dutch theme –
Gary Wilson, an experienced tall ship skipper and one time Master of Duyfkin will tell us what it would have been like sailing with Abel Tasman on his voyage to Tasmania.
Melinda Piesse is a Melbourne artist who has created an extraordinary 5m by 3m tapestry depicting the horrific story of the Batavia. Melinda will tell us how she produced this work and what she learned about the Batavia story. We are privileged to be able show the tapestry outside the Dechaineux Theatre for the duration of the Symposium – its first public exhibition.
The International Wooden Boat Symposium will be held at the University of Tasmania’s Dechaineux Theatre in Hunter Street from Saturday 11th to Monday 13th February.