Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wooden Boat Festival, Port Townsend

The Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend WA ended a week ago. Two days of off-and-on light drizzle washed the smoke from the wild fires out of the air and Sunday turned into a gorgeous day with lots of visitors. There were three boat of our design on display.

The Didi Cruise-Mini "Segue" has been at the Festival many times. Her owners, David and Nancy Blessing, have become good friends of mine over the past few years and hosted me in their beautiful home in Port Ludlow. Their boat was built by the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Hadlock. The Festival gave me the opportunity to view some of the beautiful boats built by the school and also on display. I also spent a few pleasant hours in the company of Executive Director Betsy Davis and some of the many people who make this school a valuable resource of the boating community. The school may be available to build our smaller designs, up to about 21ft, but the bigger boats would not fit into the requirements of their programs.
Didi Cruise-Mini "Segue".
The Cape Henry 21 "Slough Coot" is owned by Michael and Jody Baccellieri of Portland OR. Their boat attracted an endless stream of visitors to visit aboard and talk about her. Michael and Jody had spent the previous 2 weeks cruising the beautiful islands and anchorages of Puget Sound and were very happy to chat about their capable little vessel.
Michael and Jody aboard their Cape Henry 21 "Slough Coot".
The Didi Mini Mk3 "Voodoo Child" was built by amateur Mark Paterson in Vancouver BC, to an extremely high standard that rivals the best produced by many professional boatyards. Visitors who talked to me after being aboard "Voodoo Child" all spoke of the incredible standard of finish and the many features that Mark built into his boat. She is very well-equipped, including carbon mast, boom and sprit. We took her out to sail in the Friday race, unfortunately into the worst possible conditions for a Mini 650 to show her paces. We had a boat, designed for windy downwind racing and trans-ocean passage-making, in a sometimes windless around-the-cans race where contrary current was at times faster than boat speed. I will have to sail on her another time to experience her speed in her own conditions.
Didi Mini Mk3 "Voodoo Child".
I had flown to the Pacific Northwest via Portland so that I could visit friends in that area. One was the owner of a Lotus Europa similar to my own, to help him to sort out some problems. That done, we took it for a spin on Vancouver WA roads, giving me even more appreciation for my own car, which I had resurrected from a lifeless wreck over a 5-year rebuild. Just a few more jobs to do to complete the total body-off restoration. People wonder when I walk up to this tiny car how a tall guy like me can fit into a car with the roof below waist level. The saying is that you don't get into a Lotus, you put it on like a pair of trousers, one leg at a time. 😊
The roof of my Lotus comes only to the bottom of the windows of my wife's Chev Sonic compact.  Seen here with my Ford Windstar and son-in-law's jacked SUV for contrast with my "toy" car.
To see our full range of boat designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.