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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

First Annual Spring Boating Symposium...

...was held last weekend at the new Northwest Maritime Center (opened last September) in Port Townsend, WA.
Many years in the making, it featured speakers and workshops all centered around cruising (power and sail). Far from your typical "boat show seminar series", there were no boat and equipment manufacturers hawking their wares (well, some of the presenters had a few copies of their books available). Just a bunch of nice experienced people exchanging ideas in a comfortable classroom setting. A number of topics were presented that could be categorized under "the adventure", "the boats" and "the systems". The presentations generated much useful discussion. So much so that they could have gone on all day.
Attendees got to hang out and chat with many of the "usual suspects" from the marine sailing/cruising community including Lin and Larry Pardey, Carol Hasse, Brion Toss, Chuck Hawley, Steve D'Antonio, Mark Schrader and many others.
A number of boats were available for sniffing, (production, custom and home built) ranging from a small Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 foot cutter (preparing for Mexico) to a large Steve Dashew designed aluminum power cruiser (designed for expeditions). Also there was S/V Ocean Watch that sailed the "Around the Americas" circumnav a couple years ago.

We got to see the new Inland Sound 48, under construction at SEA Marine. A power cruiser equipped with fly-by-wire twin Volvo IPS drives, a Mastervolt distributed power system, a drop down "tailgate", and too many other features to list. Very cool.

We met some locals doing their own boat builds: a just launched 50 foot sailboat (from a bare hull) and a wooden trawler workboat conversion. Some very nice and inspiring work that generated a lot of good ideas.

With three to four hundred attendees, overall, a successful show considering it was the first one. Well worth the attendance fee. Mark your calendars for next year's symposium (same place, same weekend). It is sure to be even better.

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