On one mild Friday in November, we piled into Roscoe’s trusty ute and headed South. Bella, Braz, Roscoe, Liz and Paul ventured into the depths of the Huon Valley to find some of the hidden boat shed’s and workshops that will feature on our Maritime Trail 2021, (10th and 11th April).
Dave’s Shed, the first stop for our site visits. Dave’s shed was previously used as a workshop to create apple boxes for the thriving orchard industry in the Huon. It has now been transformed into a wooden boat wonderland of Tasmanian timbers, with boats in various stages of life hanging from the rafters, a cotton spinning machine for caulking cotton in one corner, and some resident possums in the other. Notably, it is now the birth place of Matt and Iefke’s build Tarkine, which we have previously featured extensively – follow their Facebook page ‘A Boat By The River’. The young couple and their landlord Dave are inviting you inside their castle to take you on a journey through the nooks and crannies of this incredible site. We could of stayed for hours…
Next up we had the pleasure of catching up with Kelvin, our dedicated ex food and beverage manager. Kel always welcomes visitors to the Wooden Boat Centre at Franklin with the warmest of arms (unfortunately it was elbow taps this time, but you get the picture). Kelvin and the crew took us through the workshop and showed us the latest delivery of Huon Pine and it smelt incredible. The slabs were longer than Roscoe’s ute! We were introduced to students as they worked away on various projects, including the Franklin 29 which will be launched out the front of the centre onto the Franklin River when completed. These workshop tours will be incredibly informative and demonstrate the importance of keeping the boat building tradition alive, as well as educating people of all ages. During our Maritime Trail ex GM Paul Cullen will also be completing his one-year long course at the centre, be sure to say hi!
The next stop was a few steps next door, to the Living Boat Trust. We saw all of their skiffs, whaleboats and Grebe dinghies floating on the Huon, right outside their quaint waterside office/workshop/garden/party area. The Living Boat Trust have been a part of the AWBF for years, as their Tawe Nunnugah adventure finishes at the usual Sullivan’s Cove festival site. This adventure features many small wooden boats venturing north from Recherche Bay with several overnight camp stops along the way. The wooden boats from the Living Boat Trust will be available for hire during our Maritime Trail 2021, please stay tuned for booking options. Why not take the family out for a row or cruise on the beautiful Huon River, surrounded by beautiful wooden boats?
Our last but not least final stop was at the Oyster Cove Marina. We now have over two dozen wooden boats registered to take part in the Maritime Trail 2021, both on land and on water. We invite boat owners to spend the weekend, working or relaxing, on their wooden boats in the marina, just like at the normal AWBF’s. We encourage members of the public to take the opportunity to enjoy the ‘Open Day’ at Oyster Cove Marina and engage with boat owners. Let’s be honest, every wooden boat owner has a story to tell, you might even get a look onboard!
If you are a wooden boat owner in the Kettering area, please get in touch with our Dock Masters on firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in participating in the Maritime Trail 2021.