Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival - aboard Laurabara

Aside from the amazing scenery and great cruising grounds, one of the attractions of Tasmania was, for us, the Wooden Boat Festival which takes place over four days, every two years. It has become a huge event, attracting over 500 boats of all shapes and sizes, from kayaks to tall ships, and drawing over 200,000 visitors to Hobart.

The festival begins with a Parade of Sail, featuring over 150 boats, and we were extremely lucky to be able to take part. Not on Maunie, of course, as she has a fibreglass hull, but on a beautiful 49' ketch called Laurabada. She was designed and built by her owner's father (the first boat he'd ever built, which was quite some achievement) and was launched in 1953; Ivan and Anne have done an amazing restoration job over the past 2 years to fit new decks and coachroof, new engine and electrics and some wonderful carpentry below decks to bring her up to date as a really capable cruising yacht. We met them in a little port called Tiabunna about ten days ago and they invited us to take part in the event so, of course, we jumped at the offer!

Here are some photos of the boat and the Parade:

Laurabada in her show berth; she was much admired

Anne and Ivan sailed her down from Brisbane for the Festival

Lovely lines and sparkling varnish

The new wheel and compass binacle

Tough work for the foredeck crew! Roald, Suzie and Kerry joined us - there were 18 aboard in total.

The crew's thirst was well catered for

Anne and Ivan - lovely people and fantastic hosts

Not the hardest sailing we've ever done. We were very lucky to have near-perfect conditions for a gentle sail

Graham had teak deck envy

A glimpse of the deckhouse steering position and chart table

Our good friends Adam and Cindi from Bravo were on shore to watch the event (they are touring Australia in a 4WD with roof-top tent this year) so Adam was able to get some great shots of us among the fleet:

A bit of Photoshop work, to remove some modern boats from the photos and add a sepia filter, and this could have been taken in Laurabada's early years. The tall ship is the James Craig, built in the 1870's in Sunderland, England.

More photos and stories about some of the other boats will follow in the next update

The big ketch got a little too close for comfort!
We had a superb day aboard and were pleased that we could give Anne and Ivan photos of the event as a thanks for their welcome aboard.

We of course took hundreds of photos of the other boats in the Parade and on the pontoons so we'll add some of them to the blog in the next couple of days.

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