In conversation … at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival 2012. Image: ANMM.

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival 2012. Image: ANMM.

As part of the 2016 Festival we are presenting, for the first time, In conversation … talks with a range of interesting people. Featuring a variety of speakers, In conversation … provides an intimate insight into maritime themes from the world of yachting, skiffs, tall ships, museum research and more. All talks will be held in the museum’s Vaughan Evans Library in Wharf 7.

<em>In conversation</em> talks will at held at the Vaughan Evans Library in Wharf 7. Image: ANMM.

In conversation talks will at held at the Vaughan Evans Library in Wharf 7. Image: ANMM.

SATURDAY 16 April

10.30am Ian Smith, President Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association

The Open Boat- The Evolution of the Australian Eighteen Footer

Part of the folklore surrounding the Australian eighteen footer is that they evolved out of working boats, but nobody ever knew all the details. Ian Smith has documented this evolution from the working boats of the middle of the nineteenth century through the first racing boats until the eighteen footers emerged late in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, to reveal a fascinating social and industrial history of these iconic boats.

Ian Smith has been a traditional boat builder since the 1970s. He set up and ran the Sydney Wooden Boat School for ten years and has a wealth of experience with unemployed youth, adult volunteers and at-risk kids. He built and sails his replica of this Museum’s Britannia with the Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association every Summer Saturday.

12.30pm Jeffrey Mellefont, Honorary Research Associate, ANMM

Maritime heritage on our doorstep – classic & wooden boats of Indonesia

The 17,000 islands of our next-door neighbour, the Republic of Indonesia, are home to some of the world’s most vibrant traditions of wooden boat building. The Australian National Maritime Museum has explored the historic maritime links between the Indonesian archipelago and Australian shores, in exhibitions, publications as well as overseas Members tours to meet its traditional sailors and boat builders. Adventurous Australian yachtsmen have had wooden cruising boats built there to ‘classic’ traditional Indonesian designs. Jeffrey will give a glimpse into this unique world of exotic wooden boats and seafarers… including the way that maritime tourism is helping to keep old Indonesian sailing skills alive in a rapidly modernising age.

Jeffrey Mellefont was a long-time staff member of the Australian National Maritime Museum, founder and editor of its journal Signals, and in retirement continues to assist the museum as a research associate. Jeffrey has sailed with, recorded and written about Indonesian mariners and their traditions for over 30 years.

SUNDAY 17 April

10.30am Peter Gossell, Wooden Boat Association: The Life and Times of Joshua Slocum

The first person to sail single handed around the world. Arguably the father of modern world cruising. American Captain, Joshua Slocum, was Canadian born but with a very significant connection to Sydney.

Peter Gossell is the former President of The Wooden Boat Association. Peter was a shipwright for 40 years (ex Lars Halvorson Sons) before emigrating to Australia operating the Windjammer Cruises of Honolulu with his wife, Betty.

12.30pm Lin Pardey The Adventures that Shaped My Life

Every life has defining moments. Join Lin as the shares the most momentous adventures from 45 years of voyaging. From the blowing sands of the Sahara desert, to the desolate waters off Cape Horn you’ll see how Lin and Larry’s philosophy, Go small, go simple, go now has worked to keep them ever interested in exploring under sail. Along the way you’ll learn tips and lessons you can use to launch your dream or make your own voyaging more successful and enjoyable.

Lin Pardey, with her partner Larry, are among America’s (and the world’s) most knowledgeable and recognised cruising sailors, known as “America’s first couple of cruising”. Together, Lin and Larry have sailed over 200,000 miles, including two circumnavigations east to west and west to east aboard self-built, wooden, engine-free cutters under 30 feet. Author of a dozen books, countless magazine articles, and co-creators of five cruising documentaries, Lin and Larry have shared their sailing experiences with tens of thousands around the globe prompting many to take up the sport and live the dream of the cruising lifestyle.

2pm Jon Simpson A Volunteer’s Challenge

Restoration of the 1874, 1000 tonne 3 masted barque James Craig and the restoration of the 1927 780 tonne Clyde built steam ship John Oxley by volunteers of the Sydney Heritage Fleet. Sydney Heritage Fleet is a unique organisation no other organisation, volunteer or staffed in the world has restored and operates such a range of heritage vessels. John Oxley is the sixth substantial restoration the seventh the Ferry Kanangra is progressing. How do a bunch of volunteers without public finance achieve it? Come and find out!

Jon Simpson grew up on the banks of the Medway overlooking the tall ship Peking, then a boy’s home, At the age of 15 Jon joined the London Rochester Trading company as a deckhand/3rd hand and subsequently New Zealand Shipping Company as an engineer cadet for four years. After a considerable career in the voluntary sector in UK, USA and Australia and a Master’s degree in voluntary organisation management. Jon combined his experience of volunteer management with his interest in sailing and ship restoration as the General Manager of Sydney Heritage Fleet from 2005-2012 and subsequently volunteered as Project Director of the six International Fleet Review Tall Ship Festivals in 2013. Jon volunteered as a deckhand on the James Craig and as a riveter on the John Oxley restoration, he is a current member of The Sydney Heritage Fleet Speaker’s Bureau and is a board member of the Australian Sail Training Association.

-Dr Lynda Kelly, Head of Learning. 

Want to know more? The festival program is available online.

Lynda Kelly blogs about museums in the digital age.

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