Hobart Tasmania Wooden Boat Festival

There are very few harbours in the world that could host and successfully operate an event like this. The compact intimacy and resonant history of Hobart present a maritime arena of unrivalled quality and friendliness.

One can wander amongst diverse examples of both the shipwright and boat designers art and step back in time by sailing on square riggers that date from the 19th century.

Surprises are also evident and you can witness sail technology from even further back in time. 2012 saw a replica Russian Slavic/Viking boat, built in Russia and sailed to Australia over two years!!

Moving right along histories timeline we also had on strength a hand built replica Portuguese Caravel from 1465!!

The art of wooden boats is not limited to sail from bygone eras. The festival also displayed magnificent speed boats from the designs of the 1930's through to 1950's - modern built and restored examples packed with horsepower. One can imagine a 1950’s French movie with the stars skimming along the Rivera coastline.

Downscale a bit and marvel at the sleek kayaks made in suburban enthusiasts sheds! One was designed for a small child and weighed in at 5.kg!!

Of course there is always the main Maritime Museum to visit and quaint pubs such as the Customs House and the fabulous, ‘New Sydney’, with its wonderful live music, quality menu and extensive range of tap boutique ales.

Regatta Day is a public holiday in Tasmania. Victoria has a holiday for a horse race, Tasmania has one for a boat race! Which one would you prefer? As part of the boat show a parade of sail is arranged for the afternoon on the public holiday Monday. With so many feature boats in Hobart for this show the parade takes on a different dynamic to the off years (show is biannual). From early morning assorted yachts leave their respective home moorings and descend upon the Battery Point area. With blue skies and sunny weather the spectacle of billowing spinnakers and square sails set makes for a montage centuries of sail. Wide varieties of rigs are present, from the above mentioned square riggers, through yawls to modern sloops. All sizes partake, from the massive clipper ship James Craig to the latest technology one person Moth racer that lifts out of the water on its hydrofoil. There was even a centre piece, being a modern guided missile frigate from the RAN, garnished with her flags strung from bow to high point and back to the stern.  

On a large square rigger one has to maintain lookouts as the boat traffic is unusually high and many of the modern boats like to skim close to the older beauties.

The Derwent is a sailing heaven rivalling any of the words great sailing harbours such as Sydney, Vancouver or Stockholm. A short drive out of Hobart and you come across many inlets harbouring boats and associated trades. Snug Bay and Kettering are but two within easy reach. One can overnight in idyllic coves and bays, safe and quiet, seemingly lost from the rest of the world.


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Enterprize 19th century and RAN Sydney 21st Century Speedboats with class
Water taxi of old Massed displays