Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Port Aransas 2014 plyWooden Boat Festival

This weekend, I was able to attend the first ever plyWooden Boat Festival in Port Aransas, Texas. It was a nice interlude to my busy life. I got a chance to meet with builders from around the country as well as tour a museum/boat building company in Port Aransas.

The work exhibited by these builders was exceptional and the boats displayed showed that the hobby of building wooden boats is alive and well.I saw everything from stand up paddle boards to kayaks, row boats to compact sailboats, and powerboats.

I am not an expert on boats and I ask the reader's forgiveness if my descriptions are less than complete, incorrect, or in any other way not up to snuff. What I did notice however is that the type of work required is very similar to that I am experiencing on my own build. The challenges these builders faced were the same that I have faced.

Here are a few examples. There are many more photos available in my photo gallery, available from the link on the sidebar.

There was even a folding sailboat there.

There was a tent set up where people could build their own boats. Kits were available for purchase and people could spend the three days of the event building these boats. I believe they were going to launch these today (Sunday), however I had to leave the area yesterday and was unable to attend that event.

Living inland in Texas, I don't often get to be around other boats. Most marinas are locked up making it difficult to get close enough to see anything. In Port Aransas, some parts of the marina were locked up, but other parts you could walk right up to the boats and view them. This, combined with being able to look over and examine the boats in the festival made this trip a wonderful experience for me.

There is a small company there, Farley Boat Works, which has a part in the history of Port Aransas. The building is tucked away off one of the side streets. Inside the building, there are two main areas where boats are being built. Everyone I talked to was enthusiastic about the work performed there and praised the people who work at this company. I wish that I were were more journalistically adept so I could do justice to this firm.

Tucked away in a small shed, was an example of a power boat (I believe the design is called Tarpon) that was built by the company in the past. A similar boat was used by President Roosevelt for fishing in this area. This particular boat changed hands several times before being acquired by the business. It is in remarkably good shape considering it's age. I believe that she could be made sea worthy with  a medium amount of effort.

The company works with builders who want to build their own boats. I met several people there who had done just that. Here are two examples of those boats.

The supplier of my own boat's plans, Glen L Marine was a sponsor at the show. I saw two examples of Glen L boats there.

Overall, it was a fun time and I am glad I took the time to drive down there. I encourage the readers to look over the photos in my gallery to see the other boats from the event. I look forward to attending this event again in the future and perhaps at some point I will be able to display my own boat there.

Take care.

Update 7/13/2015 

See the link in my sidebar for this years event (2015). Promises to be even better than last year!

Click Here To Comment:

  1. Great pics! Man I wish I had known about this. I'll have to keep an eye out next year. Gene

  2. Yes it was fun. It was the first year and judging by the numbers of people I saw there, I think it should be around next year.

  3. I would really like to see a boat in one of this shows that was made of sticks but was totally designed to be highly functional instead of looking like another plastic boat with pretty varnish wood... Wouldn't that be a relieve to see a Huck Finn raft that you could live on and float down the river that cost nothing to make in less than a few weeks...

    1. Tim,

      I can assure you that these boats are functional. I had an opportunity to talk to many of these builders and they do use the boats. The varnish look is simply a side effect of protecting the wood and epoxy that make up these boats.

      There were even low cost boats present at the show. The boats built ni the family building area were about as simple and low cost as you can get. They built these boats in three days.

      The beauty of this hobby and what I really came to appreciate while there was that we can all participate at whatever level we want.


Feel free to comment on what you've read here. I only ask that you keep it civil.