We Didn’t Start This Thing…

But we certainly seem to have kept it growing.

Canoe builder and TAFE teacher Brian Jones was with us at the 2017 festival, ably assisted by Alesha Bleakley from the NSW Department of Education. Together, they ran the highly successful Boat Building Clinic at the Shipwright’s Village, where five teams of young builders got stuck into building seaworthy canoes in just three days. The pace was frenetic, but well organised and led by our guest instructors. AWBF’s Paul Kerrison kept an eye on things overall and the great guys at BoatCraft Pacific and Drive Marine Services were generous with materials and encouragement. Shipwright’s Village sponsors Blundstone got into the act with some fine new boots for the adults participating and hats were supplied by Hobart Private Hospital. It wasn’t strictly expected, but the teams worked so quickly that they were able to launch a fine-looking fleet into Constitution Dock before the festival finished. All the teams got to take their boats home with them, and very proud they were, too. Alesha remarked that this was exactly the kind of project that can encourage more STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education in Australia. Brian tells us that he’s been invited to make more canoes at Phillip Island in Victoria after organisers saw the build at the AWBF. Good on you, Brian, and you will be welcome back in 2019!

Photos courtesy Brain and Tina Jones

special thanks to:

Dave Giddings from Drive Marine Services and BoatCraft Pacific.

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