GM’s Log – April 2018

Just a quick message this month – a busy one for all of us here, with a guest appearance at the Classic & Wooden Boat Show in Sydney, a new website to launch and of course, the long-awaited opening of Expressions of Interest for the Boats Afloat section of the 2109 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival. (Applications for Boats Ashore and Model Boats open slightly later).  Hats off to the whole team who participated in writing, designing and testing the new website.  There are still kinks to be ironed out and lots more material to add, but we hope you will enjoy the brighter, cleaner design and the simplified way it works. Of course, the best feedback we can get is from you – drop us a line at if you spot something that isn’t working the way it ought to.  We are working towards combining the existing newsletter site ( with the main site to make it a one-stop shop for all you need to know about the coming event.

Paul Cullen

General Manager

GM’s Log – December 2017

As the year winds into the mad Christmas rush of shopping and cooking and socialising with friends and family, we are conscious of a big clock on the wall, ticking away the weeks until this time next year, when we will be in the final stages of preparation for the 2019 Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

The festival plays a long game, of course, facing challenges to find enough sponsorship and support to cover our operating budget and dealing with changes to our waterfront infrastructure that influence how we do things and where. We have an international program to arrange, as well as planning berthing arrangements for 500+ boats and organising the equipment we’ll need to produce the event.

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GM’s Log – November 2017

As summer rolls into Tasmania, we are all enjoying the bright sunshine and warm weather and of course we’re reminded that when the warm weather returns again in a year, we’ll be celebrating the 2019 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival. A little more than twelve months from now, that is, and there’s much to be done between now and then.

Our featured nation in 2019 will be the United States and we’re already putting together an exciting program that includes some of the best-known names in the wooden boat world, including Jon Wilson (founder of the iconic WoodenBoat Magazine), Carol Hasse (legendary sail-maker from Port Townsend, Washington), Steve White (Brooklin Boat Yard, Maine) and Sean Koomen (chief instructor at the North West School of Wooden Boat Building). We’ll be shipping out some classic North American examples of boat design and welcoming a contingent of deeply experienced and committed people to celebrate our shared heritage in wooden boats. We’ll announce more names as they are confirmed over the next few months.

The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) continues its support for the International Wooden Boat Symposium in 2019, with noted speakers from Tasmania and interstate, as well as our international guests. There are exciting plans to cooperate with the Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin to run a boat-building project similar to the enormously popular Dutch project that saw a beautiful 21’ sailboat created out of unique Tasmanian timber. The design of the new project is rumoured to be a Herreshoff Haven 12.5, once described by Brooklin Boat Yard’s founder Joel White as ‘probably the best small boat ever designed’. Anne Holst at the Wooden Boat Centre tells us that limited places may be available to join this building team – details to come.

The classic Tasmanian steam launch Preana is often skippered by Sam Yousofi, who is on the Hobart waterfront often enough to ask ‘Where Have All the Ferries Gone?’ Boat Manager Cathy Hawkins continues her story of high adventure in the Arctic with ‘Iqualuktuuttiaq to Nuuk, Greenland – A Bloody Long Way!’. (Any reader who can accurately pronounce the first place name receives a small prize from AWBF this month.) Mal Riley, master of the Lady Nelson weighs in with a good suggestion for the next festival and there’s more news from around the traps, including a respectful farewell to the Australian Wooden Boat Festival’s first Honorary Life Member – Meade Gougeon.