Wooden Boats // Photo by Northwest Maritime Center

Celebrating Wooden Boats In Port Townsend

Norris Comer Activities & Entertainment

Wooden Boats // Photo by Northwest Maritime CenterThe 40th Annual Wooden Boat Festival of Port Townsend is upon us, September 9 to 11, 2016. The festival, which is hosted by the Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC), features 300 boats on land and water, 120 presentations, and dozens of exhibitors that should teach even the old sea salts a thing or two. Live music is scheduled all day, every day, and the food court is loaded with local beers and wine.

There’s something for everyone. Take the kids out in multi-person kayaks or build model sailboats with them. Hop aboard the tall ship Lady Washington for a tour of a real tall ship, or explore the iconic schooner the Adventuress. Simply wandering the docks to see the many one-of-a-kind wood boats and meeting the friendly owners is a rare treat. Seminars and hands on workshops include Norse Boat Building Techniques, The Essentials of Sailmaking, and much, much more.

Additionally, volunteering for the festival is a ton of fun. Volunteers just have to attend an orientation (hosted on either September 1 or 6, 1800 hours to 2000 hours) and sign up for a job on a “crew.” Examples include “Balcony Wine Crew” and “Boat Shop Crew.” Working a 12-hour shift grants you free admission to all three days of the festival and a free t-shirt. If interested, contact volunteer coordinator Hallie Kopald at volunteer@nwmaritime.org.

The complete schedule and more information are available at nwmaritime.org. Tickets are $17 for one day and it is $35 for a multi-day ticket. NWMC members get free tickets, which is yet another reason to consider joining if you’re addicted to the water. If you’re anywhere near Port Townsend September 9-11, this festival is a must-see.

Norris Comer

Written by

Norris Comer is an award-winning writer and the former Managing Editor of Northwest Yachting magazine. He was raised in Portland, Oregon and got his BS in Marine Science at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL where he lived aboard a 1973 Catalina 27 before moving to Washington and an Albin Vega. He has worked as a commercial fisherman, wandered aimlessly around the world, studied oil spills, and was a contestant on the Norwegian reality TV show "Alt for Norge."

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