festival Archives - Small Boats Magazine

Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Festival

Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Festival will be a day-long event focusing on Blue Hill’s historic connection with the sea. It will be held in conjunction with Maine200, Maine’s state-wide bicentennial celebration, supported by many local organizations and businesses. Boats are welcome, on land or on water. There is room for informational kiosks at the wharf or at Emerson Park as well as seminars at the public library or Shaw Institute.

The Festival will be held in Blue Hill’s historic village, centered on the scenic waterfront. Various activities will be occurring throughout the day, such as boat building demonstrations, traditional boats on display, kiosks of organizations supporting or involved with the bay. On the water there will be more boats, demonstrations, and races.

Take a short stroll over to the Holt House to see how a sea captain lived back when. Then up to the Blue Hill Public Library to view an historic film, hear a talk on our rich maritime history. While throughout the village stores and restaurants will be taking part in the festival.

There will be plenty to entertain: sea shanties, birch bark canoes, artists, crafts, a photo contest, and more attractions are being added.

At the end of the day there will be closing party at a time yet to be determined. Check the website for more details.


Supporting Organizations and Businesses

Traditional Small Craft Association logo Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce logo Blue Hill Historical Society logo
Blue Hill Library logo Friends of Blue Hill Bay logo Castine Historical Society logo Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club logo
KINGMAN GALLERY Shaw Institute Logo

FIRST Dutch Wooden Boat Festival


Organizer, boatbuilder, and boat school instructor Bert van Baar will be holding the first-ever Dutch Wooden Boat Festival in summer 2019 together with Jet Sluik, organizer of the Traditional Boat Show. The show will be at Museumharbour Willemsoord in Den Helder, a former navy yard, now a yacht basin and cultural center.

The festival opens on Friday with the annual Helderse Botterrace that is held on the Marsdiep, organized by the Helderse Botters Foundation. The festival also coincides with Jutterharbour Days on Saturday and Sunday, organized by Willemsoord Company, with museums and entrepreneurs in the harbor participating.

Boats will on display in the water, on the quays, in the Medemblikker warehouse, and in and around the former mast warehouse (Building 66). In the harbor, the following boats are confirmed for attendance: HD2 and RD28 from Den Helder, sailing lugger JAMES HAYLETT, three-masted barque EARL OF PEMBROKE, sailing traders TRES HOMBRES and NORDLYS, minesweeper HOOGEEVEEN, the Danish mail boat LEPRECHAUN, a Thames Wherry, a Norwegian Oselvar Fearing, and, in Dock 1, sailing steamship ship BONAIRE. In the Medemblikker warehouse, WINDVINDER, an experimental model for an unmanned sailing ship, will be on display.

The program includes presentations from boatbuilders, including instructors from the Hout & Meubilerings College in Amsterdam, where they started their yacht building programs 25 years ago. Participants from the Amateur Boatbuilding Awards (ABBA) 2019 will also present. There are demonstrations of steam-bending, blacksmithing, sail making. Visiting boats will be offered a free berth in the museum harbor after registration.

Organizer Bert van Baar, who runs the Boat Building School at the Willemsoord complex and is a teacher boatbuilding at the Hout & Meubilerings College in Amsterdam, says, “Because in several other countries Wooden Boat Festivals have been successfully held for years, this was a reason for me to organize  something similar in the Netherlands, where wooden boats have been built for 10.000 years!”

Jet Sluik adds, “The Dutch Wooden Boat Festival fits in seamlessly with our desire to maintain traditional shipbuilding. Personally, I am therefore happy to help this event for lovers of beautiful wooden boats. ”

Bert van Baar
Jet Sluik

Fifth Annual Port Aransas Wooden Boat Festival

Red, aqua, and white logo for the Port Aransas Wooden Boat FestivalMake plans to attend the Fifth Annual Port Aransas Wooden Boat Festival on April 12-13, 2019. This is a great family friendly event in the beautiful beach town of Port Aransas, Texas. Bring your wooden boats to display. Boats don’t have to be fancy, just made of wood. It can even be displayed unfinished. There is no entry fee for boat or spectators. Attend informative programs on boat building and boating. Build a boat at the Family Boat Building. Kids can build a model boat, too. April in Port Aransas is a great time of year with great weather and plenty of thing for the family to do. Check out www.portaransaswoodenboatfestival.org for more info.

OkoumeFest 2018

Chesapeake Light Craft will present its 20th annual small boat rendezvous, OkoumeFest, on Friday and Saturday, May 18-19, 2018.

“Okoume” is the plantation-grown African hardwood used in tens of thousands of CLC’s build-your-own-boat kits. OkoumeFest features an open house with technical seminars on Friday at the CLC plant in Annapolis, and on Saturday an on-the-water rendezvous at Matapeake State Park on Kent Island. This event is RAIN OR SHINE. Please note that if thunderstorms are detected nearby we’ll bring the boats off the water.

The Friday seminars are informative and fun, but the highlight of OkoumeFest always comes on Saturday, when we bring virtually everything in our shop over to the beach at Matapeake for our friends to paddle, row, sail, and generally put through their paces. We also encourage fellow boatbuilders to bring their homebuilt watercraft to show and compete for best-in-show honors and various awards.

OkoumeFest is also a special chance to try some of the boats, such as PocketShip, that they can’t usually take on the road with them. You’ll also be able to try out new designs, such as the Jimmy Skiff II, Tenderly XP, and the Waterlust Sailing Canoe. Attendance is free on both days this year, but please RSVP so that CLC can plan for the hordes.

Friday [schedule] features an open house at the CLC factory with shop tours, boatbuilding seminars with experts, and a cookout. Everything in the CLC store will be discounted, including boat kits.

On Saturday [schedule] the event moves to Matapeake State Park on Kent Island, where nearly 60 CLC boats will line the beach. They welcome you to try out boats all day long, or bring your own to show off.

Sights from the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival XXXIV

by Anne Bryant

After a full, nutty day at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, I headed over to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, Maryland, for the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival. I pulled into the entrance, lined with a tent city full of small boat enthusiasts; I felt right away that compared with the bustle of Annapolis, the change of energy suited my needs.

Here are some photos from my visit there. It was Sunday, the day after the big race and regatta, and so things were packing up, slowing down, and moving on due to a lightly threatening forecast.

Our Fearless Editor, Chris Cunningham, has traveled to this gathering in the past, and we plan to re-establish our connection with this fantastic gathering in 2018. A workshop? A beer social? We’re not sure yet, but get excited.



I also happened by the relaunching and re-christening of BELLE, a Herreshoff 12 1/2-inspired small sailing boat designed and built by Daniel Gonneau. With her more open layout inboard and with no internal ballast, she’s quite different from the design of her keelboat cousin, but no less gorgeous. Her new owner first saw her in the Calendar of Wooden Boats and thought she’d be just the boat for him. When she came up for sale, it was a dream come true for him.