Last week in Hobart, Brendan Hunt was fortunate to attend Australian Wooden Boat Festival. It is a world recognised classic yachts event that gathers together beautiful boats and real enthusiasts.

What a glorious few days! Hobart town really made the world of yachting look absolutely amazing, with great weather and offering a warm welcome. A myriad of vessels on display, all loosely grouped together in style and size and spread across the entire Hobart waterfront.
The Crayfishing boats and working craft lined the entire of Victoria dock. As someone quipped “Cray boats are the new Black”. There were many on display and there is certainly a gentrification in the presentation for these hard-working boats. Constitution dock overflowed with beautiful timber rowing craft, a gaggle of Lyle Hess designed yachts and some very interesting motorboats.
The Moreton Bay Cruisers were loud and proud berthed all together at the end of Elizabeth street dock. And what a fantastic collection of top quality sail boats , with the queen of the sailing fleet being Gretel II, a true Australian  treasure .All shapes and sizes of craft, and  from all parts of the globe. The festival in particular features the rich history of yachting in Tasmania and represents every era and style of boat.

The personal highlights for me were almost too many to recount. But we must surely acknowledge the organisers, the friendly volunteers, the enthusiastic participants, and the kind people of Hobart for sharing the passion for the timber boats. For anyone with a love of boats, be sure to take a trip to Hobart for the next festival of Wooden Boats.


The mystery of Gymea Solved.

Brendan Hunt: Allow me to share an interesting story – I took particular interest to see  the 21′ waterline raters, with three on display, all actively sailing and racing. Amazingly I saw a boat called Gymea, this is a boat I actually own! It was however,  looking very different, but certainly I recognised many of the  fittings and even  the owner’s plaque under the tiller.  About 10 years ago, I had left this  boat with a shipwright friend. I was quite tied up with completion of my own Ventura , and left it with him, on the basis that he would keep her alive and sailing with the classics. Well, fast forward a year of so, my friend became very vague on Gymea’s location- this friendly Sydney boat builder had literally “misplaced it”, saying it was safe and moored in Port Stephens.

To see her smart workmanlike renovation, and looking great at the show, almost tempered the angst I felt in having such a beauty stolen from right under me. I must however, philosophically acknowledge the old adage, that we are all really just custodians for such historical boats. I am just not sure what I should do, but regardless,  the two Michaels from Port Stephens,  had been gifted my boat, I suspect in lieu of a debt perhaps. But the very best news being that they are certainly looking after her and the mighty  Gymea is very much strong and alive!

Photo of Gymea








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