Ballina prepares for wooden boat regatta

Barry Kean and Paul Webb at work on their wooden boat. (supplied)

Barry Kean and Paul Webb at work on their wooden boat. (supplied)

By Val Hodgson

Wooden boat fever is again sweeping the Northern Rivers as Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club is hosting its 3rd Annual Wooden Boat Regatta on Sunday 24th January.

Open to all wooden boat owners and enthusiasts, this regatta features sailing dinghies and trailer sailers, hopefully some rowing skiffs, and last year, a classic wooden speedboat.

For the past 2 years Barry Kean, semi-retired Goonengerry boat builder, and Paul Webb, Meerschaum Vale woodworker and woodwork teacher, have collaborated to build a 10 foot six inch gaff-rigged clinker sailing dinghy, working together one day a week at Paul’s shed in Ballina.

‘The lines of the dinghy are taken from a Port Phillip Bay crabbing boat, so this boat is a replica of a true working boat,’ Mr Kean said.

‘We went to the Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart and were enthused to build a wooden boat,’ he said.

‘I did my apprenticeship building wooden boats and I want to pass on the skills.’

The yet to be named boat will be on display on Sunday, along with many others, equally as lovely.  All wooden boats and rowing skiffs are welcome.

Enquiries to Graeme Fleming 0414281699  [email protected]

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