By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
PORT TOWNSEND — Sponsors say the 38th annual Wooden Boat Festival is both entertaining and educational — but that the learning component is the most rewarding.
“There is something for everyone,” said Barb Trailer, who with Carrie Andrews is managing the event.
“There are some really hard-core people who want to learn about something specific, while others just want to hear a cool adventure story,” Trailer said.
“It depends what you are interested in.”
The festival takes place from9 a.m. to midnight today and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in Point Hudson at the northern tip of Port Townsend.
The action is centered at the Wooden Boat Foundation at the Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St.
Tickets are $15 per day and $30 for the weekend or $10 (day) and $20 (weekend) for students, seniors and military.
How many to expect
Organizers expect about 35,000 people and 250 boats.
Over the course of three days, attendees have a choice of more than 100 presentations including science, such as “Celestial Navigation” at noon Sunday; technology, “The Best Selection of Marine Apps for Your iPad” at 10:45 a.m. Sunday; and psychology, “16 Ways to Ensure Your Partner Shares Your Cruising Dreams” at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Access to presentations is included in the admission price.
Lin Pardey is leading several presentations with her husband, Larry Pardey, specifically the “16 Ways” event, and feels the festival's attendees are thoroughly engaged in the content.
“The people here are really involved with their boats. It's a real hands-on group,” she said.
“They are more interested in what they can do themselves rather than what they can buy, how it is with a lot of other shows.”
Pardey said people who build their own boats are more intimate with the craft.
“If you build it yourself, then you really want it, and no one is talking you into anything,” she said.
“It becomes very important to you, and you learn how to fix it, which means that you can do the same thing for other people.
“And maybe you can make a little money doing it.”
Pardey said she has about eight different talks she can give on various subjects.
“I never do them exactly the same,” she said.
“We keep track of all the questions that come up, and if there are a lot about one thing, we might create a talk about that topic.”
The next subject, she said, will be how to build a boat that is easy to maintain.
This dovetails with “Unstoppable Boat” at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, which “tells you how to build a boat that will keep going if one piece of gear stops working.”
In the Edensaw Boat challenge, participants put their knowledge to use, building a boat from scratch beginning at 9 a.m. today, with the projected launch at noon Sunday.
'Adrift' and 'Life of Pi'
Trailer, who said she won't get to see any of the presentations, said she is most excited about Steven Callahan's “Adrift,” scheduled at 1:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“All the presentations are really good, and we have some great headliners this year,” she said.
“But Steve has never been here before, and he tells this great story about being adrift in a lifeboat for 76 days.”
Because of his experience, Callahan became the technical director for “The Life of Pi,” a 2013 movie that will be screened at 7 p.m. today in the Northwest Maritime Center.
Admission will be free with a festival wristband or a Port Townsend Film Festival membership card; it is $5 otherwise.
Pardey, Callahan and author Wendy Hinman will lead a special maritime-themed PT Shorts reading at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Pope Marine Building, on the waterfront at Water and Monroe streets.
Attendees also can learn about new opportunities.
At 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jake Beattie, Northwest Maritime Center executive director, will talk about the center's upcoming contest, a race from Port Townsend to Ketchikan, Alaska, in a non-motorized boat.
Any boat of any size can compete in the race, which is scheduled to take place in June.
And the winner will get a $10,000 prize.
Adventuress ship bells
Other highlights include a ceremony at about 6:15 p.m. Saturday at City Dock, where the 101-year-old schooner Adventuress will be reunited with its original ship bell, which was recently returned by a California collector.
Other historical boats that can be seen are the tall ship Lady Washington and the Virginia V., a 92-year-old 125-foot steamship that once was part of the Mosquito Fleet, ferrying passengers around Puget Sound.
From noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in the boathouse of the Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club in the Northwest Maritime Center, author Daniel James Brown will sign copies of his book The Boys in the Boat.
The best-seller, soon to become a movie, tells the story of how an unlikely rowing team from the Pacific Northwest won a gold medal in the 1936 Munich Olympics, a victory that humiliated Adolf Hitler.
The event is preceded by a demonstration of the boats used in the race at 10 a.m. outside the boathouse.
Vendors will be at the festival, too, selling everything from boat tools and parts to clothing and food.
The YMCA is sponsoring a children's art show in its booth directly across from the maritime center, while the Port of Port Angeles, the Port Angeles Yacht Club and Platypus Marine Inc. will lend a Clallam County presence.
For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/PDN-Boatfest.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.