Australian Wooden Boat Festival

The 10th Australian Wooden Boat Festival was held on the Hobart waterfront from 8 – 11 February 2013. There were more than 600 boats from around Australia and overseas taking part in the festival.

In addition to the exhibition of boats on Hobart’s waterfront, the festival will also showcase local food, live entertainment, music, demonstrations and displays. It will also features the MyState Very Important Kids village, a maritime market-place and has its own tavern.

The AWBF has been held biennially in Hobart since 1994 and has developed into Australia’s premier maritime and cultural heritage festival.

The look and feel of the festival resembles the early days of the predominantly wooden boat Sydney to Hobart races, and appeals to thousands of locals, and many national and international visitors.

The authenticity of Tasmania’s maritime and wooden boat culture and history positions the state with a highly competitive advantage and as a leader in presenting such festivals and a centre of excellence for associated skills and learning.

The following activities outline the various elements of the festival program:

  • International wooden boat culture showcased through an Indonesian village display and wooden boat building expertise from around Tasmania including Franklin and Devonport.
  • Maritime marketplace showcasing the latest marine products as well as traditional items from marine suppliers from around Australia.
  • Shipwrights village demonstrating traditional boat building skills.
  • Over 600 wooden boats, both ashore and afloat, from around Australia and overseas.
  • Significant program of on-water activities displaying a wide variety of boats.
  • A wide range of static displays including art exhibitions, vintage machinery and photography.
  • Comprehensive children’s entertainment program including a children’s story dramatisation of `Swallows and Amazons’ and an Exit Left production of `Scallywags’ highlighting issues around water and boat safety.
  • Music and other performance entertainment throughout the four days of the festival.
  • Hands-on wooden boat activities including a community boat building collaboration between Work Skills and the festival, parent and child boat building and the Quick ’n’ Dirty boat building projects.
  • A display and practical guidance on the entire process of boat building, from selecting the raw material to the finished product.
  • A range of keynote speakers on all things wooden boats and associated stories from around the world including boat builders from Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand passing on their knowledge and stories.
  • Exhibitions of historic wooden surfboards from the 1920s and ’30s as well as a convoy of vintage Sydney to Hobart yachts from the 1940s and ’50s.

Featured Tall Ships and other vessels include –

  • James Craig – Built in 1873, brought to Tasmania by Henry Jones for the jam trade. Steam replaced sail and it became a sinking wreck in Recherche Bay, until 30 years later and it became a fully, volunteer restored, operational four-masted barque.
  • Notorious – A 10-year home-building project by Victorian, Graeme Wylie, of a 68 foot long Portuguese caravel. Launched at Port Fairy in 2011, it now faces the challenge of crossing the Bass Strait to attend the festival.
  • Julie Burgess – A City of Devonport, two-year restoration on behalf of the coastal fishing Burgess family. The 64’ blue gum ketch, built in 1936, will make her maiden debut at the 2013 festival and will continue its life as the feature ship of the redeveloped Devonport Maritime Museum.
  • Terra Linna – Started life as a racing yacht at the Derwent Sailing Club in 1880 but over the past 120 years was reduced to a neglected hulk on the Battery Point foreshore. She was rescued by the Wooden Boat Guild in 2003 and since 2007 has been restored at Noel and Noelene Hall's home in Bellerive.  Terra Linna was relaunched at the Bellerive Yacht Club in July 2012.
  • Yukon – A Danish registered Nash/Lassen family vessel currently on a multi-year global circumnavigation visiting Tasmania.
  • Lady Nelson – Replica, built in Margate in 1988, of the cutter of the same name, built for the Royal Navy in 1798 that brought the first settlers, in 1803, to Hobart in Van Diemen’s Land. Currently operated by the Tasmanian Sail Training Association for training, adventure cruises and local tours.
  • Windeward Bound – Completed building in 1996 in the historic, no longer existing, Boyer Shed on the River Derwent. In 2001, the vessel completed a 17-month, 36 000km circumnavigation of Australia, 200 years on from Matthew Flinders’ celebrated feat.
  • Enterprize – First square-rigged commercial vessel built in last 120 years in Melbourne. Completed in 1997. A replica of the original Enterprize, built in Hobart in 1829. The original was sailed from Tasmania to Port Philip Bay and up the Yarra River in August 1835 to Melbourne.
  • HMAS Sydney – Adelaide-class guided missile frigate. Commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy in 1983 has served in many recent war zones and is made from so-called ‘BHP pine’.  Tasmania’s celebration of Navy Week is specifically scheduled to coincide with both the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival and the royal Hobart Regatta. HMAS Sydney will also act as the regatta’s flag ship.
  • Cartela – Much-loved Tasmanian river steamer. Designed and built in 1912 by the prominent Hobart firm Purdon & Featherstone
  • Rhona H – Huon pine fishing vessel completed in 1947 near Cataract Gorge, Launceston. A regular visitor to the festival.

Further information can be found at

Wooden Boat Festival 



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