Results Are In for the AWBF Survey

Results Are In for the AWBF Survey

We mentioned in our June update that the results were in for the post-festival survey completed by 786 festival-goers, answering an extensive questionnaire so that we can better understand who comes to the festival, where they are from, how long they stay and what they value most about the event. This kind of data is essential for us to plan the festival’s future and to demonstrate to our partners, sponsors and supporters the value of the largest wooden boat gathering in the Southern Hemisphere.

There are some interesting trends emerging, since we first began the survey with the 2013 event. Estimated attendance (215,000) is steady, with fluctuations mostly attributable to weather, and the number of boats (490) and volunteers (435) stable over the last three festivals. What has changed is the percentage of our audience travelling from interstate and overseas to attend the event. Continue reading “Results Are In for the AWBF Survey”

And We Have a Wrest Point Winner!

The results are in from our post-Festival questionnaire, completed by more than 800 festival fans in the weeks following the 2017 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival.  The questionnaire asked 25 detailed questions about why people came to the event, how long they stayed, what kind of accommodation they used and where they came from, to help us build a picture of our total audience and how we can improve our event.  The survey also asked questions about visitors’ experiences – did they find the event friendly, clean, interesting, entertaining?  This kind of response is vital to keep the Wooden Boat Festival focused, authentic and consistently fresh.

To encourage people to finish and submit the questionnaire (and we appreciate it took some time to complete), festival sponsor Wrest Point offered a fantastic prize – the Ultimate Hobart Escape for two people.  Two nights in an Executive Suite, dinner in the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, a helicopter tour with Par Avion and lots more luxuries make up this brilliant prize.  The winner was selected by random number generation under the auspices of EMRS and we are delighted with the result.

We have a winner!

The winner is shipwright, craftsman and boat builder Tom Coventry of Sydney Wooden Boats.  Tom has been a regular at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival since 2009 and sailed his own boat, Marama, down for the 2013 festival.  Tom reports that a gang of Sydney friends comes to Hobart for every festival and says:

As a shipwright who specialises in timber boats, I feel that what you have created in Hobart is truly special and goes a long way to keeping the public interest in timber boats alive.  Thank you for all the effort that goes into holding such an event, and well done.’

Well, thank you, Tom and we trust you will enjoy an unscheduled visit to Hobart to have a great weekend.


Dutch Boats at Off Centre Harbor

What an excellent video from our friends at Off Center Harbor (take a breath, you English teachers, that’s how they spell it over there)!

For a live link to these videos, please go to

The Dutch Tjotter, A Frisian Boat in Tasmanian Waters

Guest boat builder Bert van Baar is with the fleet of Dutch tjotters at the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2017.  Bert, the guiding hand behind the Seacrest project (see elsewhere in this newsletter), explains why the tjotters have such an unusual design and why they are so perfectly suited to their normal environment, the shallow lakes and inland canals of their native Friesland – the far northwest region of the Netherlands, where the countryside is as much water as it is land.

Bert describes the region and the technical reasons for the shallow draft (very shallow waters), the collapsible mast (many bridges) and the distinctive lee boards (extreme manoeuvrability) of the traditional tjotter.  This was perfectly demonstrated at the festival, when a fleet of four boats executed some very smart sailing in the waters of the River Derwent.

Off Center Harbor video library

If you have not discovered the pleasures of Off Center Harbor, we strongly recommend you give it a go.  This is a fantastic collection of short films that rises far above the usual standard of amateur YouTube video clips.  Each video in the collection is a short, finely made film with a story to tell and some great photography.  There are instructional videos, even a full series taking you through every step of building an Off Center Skiff from scratch.  There are films on boat design, ship building skills, workshop tips, sailing, notable characters and wonderful locations.  Ever since Off Center Harbor’s Steve Stone first visited the AWBF back in 2015, there’s been a strong thread of Australian and Tasmanian content in the OCH collection and you can see local figures like Ned Trewartha, Steve Knight and Philip Myer telling their stories to camera.

Wet weekend with unfavourable winds?  Too cold out there to be any fun?  Curl up with a wood fire, a glass of good Tasmanian pinot and lose yourself in the wide world of wooden boats and the  stories that come with them.

Off Center Harbor is a subscription website, meaning you pay a fee to be a member and get access to hundreds of videos streamed across the internet.  We rate it five stars, and there’s a generous offer to see 10 of their best videos for free with no obligation to join.  Have a look at their front page here: