America’s largest Wooden Boat Festival celebrates its 42nd year and opens Friday, September 7 at 9 am with tall ships, paddleboards, kayaks, tug boats, a fleet of wooden boats and everything in between. Demonstrations, presentations, plays, music, dancing, and great food provide a weekend of fun for everyone. Running through Sunday, September 9, the festival is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights and from 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday.
Organized and presented by the Northwest Maritime Center, the festival features over 250 boats, 100 presenters from around the world sharing their adventures, talents, and expertise on four indoor and four outdoor stages, plus live music all weekend on the main stage. Find quaint bars, great food and unbelievable scenery at this festival on the Salish Sea.
The festival features boat rides for all ages. Kids Cove offers kids’ boatbuilding, fish painting on t-shirts, storytelling and the orca whale tent. Watch hilarious pirate plays daily, tour the boats, and a pirate treasure hunt on Sunday.
Try Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP), take out a rowboat, join a launch tour, and for those who want some nostalgia, try a longboat ride, or sail and row in a historic replica of George Vancouver’s 1792 ship!
The weekend concludes with the awe-inspiring “Sail-By” at 3 pm on Sunday where hundreds of wooden vessels of all sizes and shapes pour out of the harbor and sail along the waterfront in full sail celebration. “If you are into wooden boats or just looking for a great party, Port Townsend is the place to be the second weekend of September,” said Northwest Maritime Center Executive Director Jake Beattie.
Highlights of the 2018 festival include tall ships Pacific Grace, Pacific Swift, Virginia V and Schooners Zodiac and Adventuress which will be available for touring and charter. Check out Polynesian wayfinding, Japanese boatbuilding, women circumnavigators and hear one man’s plan to paddleboard the NW Passage. Head to the Author’s Tent to meet the authors of the latest cruising, adventure and technical books. For the weekend’s full schedule of events, presentations, and activities during the festival, visit www.woodenboat.org.