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Sailboats at the Wooden Boat Festival.

Tall ships, paddleboards, kayaks, tugboats, and everything in between—North America’s largest wooden boat festival celebrates its 41st year on September 8–10, 2017. Demonstrations, presentations, plays, music, dancing, and great food—this is a weekend of fun for all ages.

(Photo credit (above): Northwest Maritime Center, Irving Mortensen)

Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, WA, Sept. 8-10, 2017

Port Townsend’s Wooden Boat Festival features over 250 boats; 100 presenters from around the world sharing their adventures, talents, and expertise on four indoor and four outdoor stages; and live music all weekend on the main stage. Find quaint bars, great food, and unbelievable scenery at this festival on the Salish Sea.

The Festival features free boat rides for all ages and a paddleboard pool that kids will love! For those more daring and adventurous, try paddle-boarding and kayaking off the beach. For a more relaxed way to get on the water, rowboats and launch tours are available, and for those who want some nostalgia, sail and row in a historic replica of George Vancouver’s 1792 ship!

Highlights:

  • Tall ships: Pacific Grace, Pacific Swift, and Schooners Zodiac and Adventuress will be available for tours and charters.
  • Matt Rutherford’s presentations and movie of his incredible solo circumnavigation of the Americas will entertain and amaze.
  • Howard Rice will give a thrilling account of his epic adventure in Tierra del Fuego with a modified SCAMP sailboat.
  • Boat Shop: See a ship’s wheel being built, a ship in a bottle being constructed, and demos all weekend by the author of The Artful Sailor.
  • Authors’ Tent: Meet the authors of the latest cruising, adventure, and technical books.

And, the Waggoner Cruising Guide and Northwest Maritime Center present

Seminars at the Wooden Boat Festival.

The Wooden Boat Festival is fun for the whole family. Kids Cove features kids’ boatbuilding, fish painting on t-shirts, a puppet theater, and face painting. Watch hilarious pirate plays daily on the North Star Stage, take part in marine science activities all weekend, and join a pirate treasure hunt on Sunday. Kids love the paddleboard pool, boat tours on the Martha J, singing sea shanties, and dancing to music on the main stage.

Over 50 vendors will share their wares. See the latest kits for building your own paddleboard, kayak, or wooden boat, and visit new and old favorites for repair and maintenance. Stroll down Artist Way to take in handmade crafts, clothing, and jewelry.

Sailboat racing at the Wooden Boat Festival.

Photo credit: Northwest Maritime Center

Watch entertaining boat races all weekend long from the Balcony Wine Bar or the infamous Wee Nip Bar.

The weekend ends with the awe-inspiring “Sail-By” at 3 p.m. Sunday, when 300 wooden vessels of all shapes and sizes pour out of the harbor and past the waterfront in full sail celebration.

For the weekend’s schedule and more information about all the activities during the Festival, go to www.woodenboat.org.

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