Terrific times in Tasmania at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2017

Monday morning at the festival. Image: David Payne / ANMM.

Monday morning at the festival. Image: David Payne / ANMM.

Over 500 boats, numerous displays, demonstrations and talks, four seasons of weather plus a rainbow, and not to mention the fine Tasmanian food, it’s always a challenge at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival  (AWBF) to cover everything with not much more than three days to see it all. The museum managed to do it by sending a diverse contingent of staff for the festival, which ran from Friday 10th through to Monday 13th February, 2017.

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Ready for Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2017

At the 2015 Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Image: David Payne / ANMM.

At the 2015 Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Image: David Payne / ANMM.

The 2017 Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart starts this Friday 10th February, and the Australian National Maritime Museum will be very well represented at the festival over the weekend. A contingent of staff is travelling south to attend and help with various activities.

The museum has a booth in the principal display hall on Princes Wharf and is hosting a cocktail evening on Saturday. It is the sponsor for the AWBF Symposium of speakers which runs over three days, and is a key organiser with Maritime Museum of Tasmania for the Australian Maritime Museums Council’s Conference that proceeds the festival. The Voyage Game will also be a feature at the festival.

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The value of volunteers

Mature age volunteers are the ‘lifeblood’ of the museum. Their experience and passion are what our visitors enjoy. Image: ANMM.

Mature age volunteers are the ‘lifeblood’ of the museum. Their experience and passion are what our visitors enjoy. Image: ANMM.

Did you know that here at the museum we have over 1200 volunteers? Some 450 regularly volunteer onsite.

Volunteers are extremely important to our visitor experiences and a big part of our 4.5-star rating on TripAdvisor. Continue reading

Putting the ‘classic’ into classic wooden boats: the Halvorsen dynasty

A collection of Halvorsen vessels at the 2012 Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. Image: ANMM.

A collection of Halvorsen vessels at the 2012 Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. Image: ANMM.

Over four generations, Halvorsen boats have become revered collectors’ items. A Halvorsen craft is an example of master boatbuilding, and several of them will be in attendance at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2016.

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In conversation … at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival 2012. Image: ANMM.

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival 2012. Image: ANMM.

As part of the 2016 Festival we are presenting, for the first time, In conversation … talks with a range of interesting people. Featuring a variety of speakers, In conversation … provides an intimate insight into maritime themes from the world of yachting, skiffs, tall ships, museum research and more. All talks will be held in the museum’s Vaughan Evans Library in Wharf 7.

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The 2016 Novice Canoe Building Challenge

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival, April 15-17 2016.

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival, April 15-17 2016.

The museum, in partnership with Drive Marine Services and The Institute of Industrial Arts Technology Education (IIATE), have joined together to host the inaugural Novice Canoe Building Challenge at the 2016 Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. The challenge requires teams of four high school students to construct a Bellinger Double Chine Canoe over three days at Festival. Brian Jones, Dave Giddings and the team from Drive Marine Services will be guiding the students through the construction process.

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Mark your calendars for the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival 2016

The Ena, a fine example of Edwardian elegance. Photo by Andrew Frolows/ANMM.

The Ena, a fine example of Edwardian elegance. Image: Andrew Frolows/ANMM.

The Classic and Wooden Boat Festival, April 15 to 17 2016.

The answer to the question ‘what is a classic boat?’ will be on display over the weekend on 15th to 17th April at the Australian National Maritime Museum, where The Classic and Wooden Boat Festival will have over 100 craft that show the diversity that fits this title.

One of the most easily identified classic vessels will be the steam yacht Ena. It features high class Edwardian elegance throughout and the sight of this fine craft steaming along, cutter bow carving through the water, a gently curving sheer, raked lines to the superstructure and a long overhang aft are all hallmarks of what most would consider classic without question.

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Win cash prizes in our Instagram photography competition!

Abstract detail of water surface during Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2012 in purple, black, white and grey

Abstract. Photo by Andrew Frolows

We’re excited to announce a photography competition in association with the 2016 Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. Readers are invited to submit photographs via Instagram to win cash prizes worth $4600.

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Get up close and personal with over 70 classic & wooden boats

This weekend is a fantastic event in the museum’s calendar – the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2012. More than 70 privately owned classic boats will gather in Darling Harbour, including over a dozen Halvorsen cruisers! Here is a selection of vessels that will be on show:

The Captain’s Barge is the only remaining cabined example of its type in Australia. Built in England in 1945, the boat has an innovative construction involving double-mahogany planks, copper-nailed with a linseed-oiled canvas layer between, and has been restored by Sydney Harbour Federation Trust volunteers.

Gretel II – America’s Cup challenger in both 1970 and 1971. Gretel II, designed by Alan Payne, was the last wooden 12-Metre class yacht to be built and was generally considered faster than Intrepid in the 1970 series. She was modified in 1977 and refitted in 2009 in her current configuration as a cruiser racer with a minimalist interior fitout.

Read more about Gretel II on the museum’s Register of Historic Vessels database.

Hurrica V is a 1924 English gentleman’s classic sailing yacht born in the Edwardian era, remembered for its embrace of glamour and classic designs. Now restored and reborn with renewed respect for that elegance, she has proven to be a bona fide yacht with a double-crossing of the notorious Bass Strait to Hobart. Hurrica V will feature in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Read more about Hurrica V (on the museum’s Register of Historic Vessels database).

Silver Cloud was first built in 1939. She was part of the ‘Hollywood Fleet’ that patrolled Sydney Harbour during WWII. In 2010 she was entered onto the ANMM Register of Historic Vessels. After a four-year renovation Silver Cloud resumes her place as the ‘grande dame’ of classic boating.

Read more about Silver Cloud on the museum’s Register of Historic Vessels database.

Protex is a typical early-20th-century small motor boat built to operate in Australia’s harbours and inland waterways. She was used to transport goods and personnel to ships and waterfront establishments, and to ferry staff from the Palmolive factory at Balmain to various city wharves.

Read more about Protex on the museum’s Register of Historic Vessels database.

A full list of vessels on display at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival can be seen on our website.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2012 – live music line-up

The Classic & Wooden Boat Festival takes place this weekend, Friday 12 October to Sunday 14 October and has a great line-up of entertainment and activities for all the family to enjoy, including a fantastic live music line-up.

With a special guest appearance from ARIA award winner Clare Bowditch, performing songs from her new album The Winter I Chose Happiness. Tickets are on sale now for just $20 via our website. There are also various other live music acts over the course of the weekend.

The festival will also, of course, feature over 70 classic boats and incorporate maritime crafts and competitions such as Quick and Dirty boat building and race, deck hands line throwing, best dressed boat and caulk a seam competition.

For the full program and to book visit our website.

An afternoon with HMB Endeavour

Picture of Antonio Ponto

Antonio Ponto entertaining us all on board HMB Endeavour
Photographer Nicole Cama, ANMM

Photograph of Sydney Harbour

An overcast day on Sydney Harbour
Photographer Nicole Cama, ANMM

On a day-to-day basis our job is to research the collection, mainly working through the books and records that supply the stories of our objects and exhibitions. Uniquely at the museum, a large part of the collection sits in the water right outside our office window in the wharves. On Saturday, museum staff were treated to an afternoon harbour outing on board the replica HMB Endeavour. Even the miserable weather couldn’t dampen our spirits as we departed the North Wharf, canon firing (in the direction of an unsuspecting Sydney ferry) and winds blowing with a touch of rain. Somehow, these conditions added to the experience, giving us only the slightest hint of what things may have been like on board without Sydney’s renowned sunny weather. Continue reading

Wild and windy weather fails to keep crowds away from ANMM Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Saturday’s wild winds certainly threatened to cause havoc with our careful planning and organisation of  our weekend Classic & Wooden Boat Festival, but didn’t scare boat enthusiasts away from flocking in their thousands to Darling Harbour.
Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2010

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2010

The second day of the festival was even better, the wintery chill of Saturday was forgotten as the sun shone on us for Sunday. Music and food were enjoyed by all and the more serious lectures were well attended.

Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Highlights for our visitors were the spectacular vessels on display, the hilarious Quick ‘n’ Dirty Boat Race and the very competitive line-throwing competitions. Kids of all ages enjoyed our Kids’ Deck activities and roaming performers entertained the crowds milling about the harbour.

HMB Endeavour was joined by three other majestic tall ships

HMB Endeavour was joined by three other majestic tall ships

Stallholders did a roaring trade throughout the weekend event
Stallholders did a roaring trade throughout the weekend event

There’s more photos on our Facebook page.

We’re already looking forward to our next Classic & Wooden Boat Festival!

Were you here at ANMM enjoying the festivities? We’d love to hear what you thought of the day! Visit us on our Facebook page (where we’re also running a competition for best photo of the event), find us on Twitter, or simply leave your comments here.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

We’ve been busy this week at ANMM preparing for this weekend’s festivities at our Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. Our harbourside festival site here looks amazing and is testament to the hard work our wonderful team have put in over the last few months.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

Our theme this year is ‘Old is New – recycle, restore, reuse’ and the star guest undoubtedly capturing the spirit of the festival will be the visiting Gaiasdream, a two-hulled fossil-fuel free vessel that runs on vegetable oil and solar power.

There’ll no doubt be something here at Darling Harbour for everyone – with the spotlight shining brightly on our collection of tall ships, HMB Endeavour, James Craig, Southern Swan and Soren Larsen who will be joined by over 100 gleaming classic boats from all over the country.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival stallholders

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival stallholders

For those who are more interested in fabulous fashions, there’ll be a parade of sophisticated (and outrageous) nautical-inspired outfits that will be judged and awarded on the Sunday afternoon in our Fashions Afloat event.

Even dedicated foodies are catered for, with a wide variety of cuisines available to sample, from fresh grill wraps and Turkish delicacies to crowd-pleaser dutch mini pancakes. Shopoholic? You can buy anything from a boat to a book at our nautical marketplace.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival - something for everyone!

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival - something for everyone!

We’re also proud to be hosting specialists in nautical crafts, who will be demonstrating age-old traditional skills like woodturning, rope making and the art of restoration throughout the festival.

Internationally-renowned tall ship ‘Soren Larsen’ to visit ANMM for Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

One of the Pacific Ocean’s most glamorous tall ships will sail up Sydney Harbour on Thursday, 14 October, to take the spotlight at our Classic & Wooden Boat Festival for 2010.

The 145 ft (44.2 m) two-masted brigantine Soren Larsen, arriving from New Caledonia, will berth in Cockle Bay (Darling Harbour) where it will be open for inspection through the festival Saturday and Sunday, 16-17 October.

Soren Larsen will be just one of four tall ships on show over the weekend. The others moored here for the festival will be the HM Bark Endeavour replica,  James Craig and Southern Swan.

Soren Larsen to visit Sydney for the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Soren Larsen to visit Sydney for the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Soren Larsen is looking splendid after major restoration and re-rigging as a brigantine (square-rigged foremast, fore-and-aft rigged mainmast) and in the late 1970s it embarked on a new ‘acting’ career – first starring in the BBC TV series The Onedin Line and appearing in movies The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Count of Monte Cristo and Shackleton.

In 1988 Soren Larsen sailed as flagship in the re-enactment of the First Fleet’s 36,000 km voyage from England to Port Jackson.

Based in Auckland, the vessel these days spends most of its time adventure cruising around New Zealand and the South Pacific.  This will be its first Sydney visit since 1998.

We’re looking forward to welcoming her next week, along with all the visitors to our popular weekend festival.