San Diego Wooden Boat Festival
I just wanted to offer a quick report
from the 13th Annual Wooden Boat Festival which was held at
the Koehler Kraft boat yard in San Diego, California on June
14-15, 2003. Although I've lived in San Diego for 13 years,
this is the first time that I've ever attended this event. Now
I feel really bad about what I've been missing all these years.
Kraft hosted the event at their boat yard located on Shelter
Island in the heart of San Diego Bay. All of the proceeds were
contributed to the local
chapter of the Sea Scouts.
With digital camera in hand, I fully intended
to responsibly document this exciting event for the benefit
of Duckworks readers. Unfortunately, soon after I arrived, I
became enraptured by all of the nifty wooden boats and lost
all sense of professional "reporter" decorum. As a
result, I now have dozens of pictures and only vague recollections
about what half of them are.
Dustspeck and a variety of kayak
friends built by Randy Ames.
(click pictures to enlarge)
On the bright side, I did have time to set
up and display my trusty mouseboat "Dustspeck"
before I completely lost my senses. Over the two days of the
festival, I answered hundreds of questions about the tiny boat.
I also handed out flyers on how to build a mouseboat and where
to find more information (Duckworks included!) so I'm hopeful
that this will lead to a rampant "rodent problem"
in San Diego.
Frankly, I was amazed by the amount of positive
attention the mouseboat received. I was extremely pleased to
hear one of the talented Koehler Kraft shipwrights remark that
Dustspeck was his "favorite boat in the show". My
wife astutely pointed out that a mouseboat's most attractive
feature is its "attainability". I suspect she may
have a point. Only a very lucky few can ever hope to own one
of the meticulously restored classic wooden yachts but just
about anybody can own a mouseboat!
On Sunday afternoon, I created quite a stir
when I hoisted "Dustspeck" onto my shoulder, strode
purposefully down to the docks and plopped her in the water.
By the time I had donned my life jacket and stepped off the
dock into the tiny cockpit, a group of 50-60 people had gathered
to watch. I felt like one of the Wright brothers embarking upon
their first public flight. I returned Dustspeck to it's display
about 30 minutes later and spent the rest of the afternoon answering
questions from those who had "witnessed" my voyage.
C.F. Koehler demonstrates how to
apply linear polyurethane's. Then he "Huck Finn's"
several of us into paint a spar for him!
In addition to shore-based and on-the-water
display of wooden boats, the friendly folks from Koehler Kraft
held helpful seminars on painting, varnishing, sail making,
lofting, planking, hull fairing and epoxy application techniques.
I was especially interested to learn about Koehler Kraft's efforts
to restore and preserve aging wood boats using modern epoxy
methods. Many of the processes used to build even a simple mouseboat,
i.e. bonding, filleting, encapsulation, filling and fairing
were being employed by Koehler Kraft on a much grander scale
to save aging wooden hulls that would otherwise be destined
for the scrap heap.
One of the highlights of the festival was
a "Whiskey Plank
Celebration" to honor the shipwrights who completed
the re-planking of a classic Pacific Class sloop during the
festival. But that's a whole other story. I hope you enjoy the
pictures as much I enjoyed taking them.
Click thumbnail pictures
||A lovely mirror dinghy
| "Wisp" A gorgeous Wee
Lassie canoe... and it's owner says its never been wet!
|| "Loafer" - a beautifully
restored Herreshoff 12 ½
| "Hawk" A classic sharpie
based on Commodore Ralph Munroe's "Egret"
||A pair of bright Pygmy kayaks built
by Scott Copeland
|It's a dory... that's all I know
||A meticulously restored motor launch
for the power
|Wooden boats as far as the eye
||Nice little sloop... all I remember
is her name - Genivieve
|A new teak deck restoration in
||I think her name was "Freedom"...
but beauty makes me forgetful...
||Another name remembered... "Élan"
and little else...
|"Gem"... that was her
||Sadly, I'm not even remembering
their names anymore... just a drooling fool by this point.
|The Alden designed "Bluewater
II"... just waiting for a sponsor to restore her..
||Someone called this a "Spittsgatter"...
another restoration project in need of a sponsor