The 22nd annual San Diego Wooden Boat Festival, featuring more than 70 classic crafts, seminars on traditional maritime skills and activities for kids, will be held June 16-17 at the Koehler Kraft boatyard on Shelter Island. 

The San Diego Wooden Boat festival is the premier annual event for Southern California traditional wooden boat enthusiasts and provides a rare opportunity for the general public to view these crafts up close.  From small rowing, sailing, and power boats to regal schooners and rugged workboats, all are open to the public.

This year’s Wooden Boat Festival attractions and seminars will include:

  • Visit some of San Diego Bay’s classic beauties: several large classic vessels will be in attendance and available for viewing, both above and below decks. Owners will be on hand to give the history of the boats. Some of the craft available for viewing at the festival this year include FAME, a 40’6” Schooner that was built in 1910. This vessel was completely restored at Koehler Kraft in three months time and was re-launched July 12th of 2010,  her 100th birthday.  Akamai a 1962, Kettenburg 50,  that just went through a full restoration at Koehler Kraft this past year and  Dauntless, a 71’  1930 Alden Schooner, that raced in the 1930 Newport to Bermuda race and is featured on this years poster and commemorativet-shirt.  As well as the Dickie Walker , a 63’ Nova Scotia Trawler, this vessel has 4000 mile range and still has the original Caterpillar single screw engine #D13000 from 1951 and charming custom furnishings that is always a crowd favorite.
  • Free Steamboat Rides: Ride an authentic steam-driven boat for a short tour of the yacht basin.
    Custommade small boats: handcrafted kayaks, canoes, dories and other small craft will be on display and their owners will be on-hand to discuss what it takes to build a small wooden boat.
    Vendor Booths: an array of booths featuring everything from sailing societies to marine chandlery.  Additionally, Challenged America will be having their annual rummage sale featuring a large array of quality, gently used sports equipment.
    Activities for children: there will be a children’s area where they can create a treasure chest frame or make a small boat and collect fun temporary tattoos and an eye patch!
  • Live music: The ever popular group “Heritage”, featuring Larry “Friar” Edwards on fiddle and Chuck “Strummer” Preble on guitar, will perform seafaring songs and dance tunes from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Daytime activities at the 22nd Annual San Diego Wooden Boat Festival run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

All proceeds from the event go to benefit Challenged America. Urban Miyares, co-founder of the charitable, San Diego-based, Challenged America, a recreational rehabilitation, adaptive-sailing program which was launched by disabled veterans in 1978, is available for interviews prior to and during the event. 

Breakfast and lunch will be available at the festival for a nominal additional charge. On Saturday evening after the festival a special dinner will be offered for an additional charge and will include screenings of classic sailing movies.

For a complete schedule of events and for more information about the festival call the Koehler Kraft yard office at 619 222-9051.  Koehler Kraft is located at 2302 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106.

Photos from the 2011 edition courtesy Philippe Gadeyne

New donation, a beautifully restored Erickson 35

She has been at the Challenged America docks for a little over a week.  This 1971 Erickson 35 has been beautifully restored by her previous owner.  The woods are beautifully varnished, engine rebuilt all new deck hardware, including new Anderson winches.

Erickson 35 drawings

“Dash To Chula Vista Race” – April 21-22, 2012

Prepared for a Different Type of Martin 16 Race? Get ready Martin 16 sailors, novice and experienced alike, April 21 & 22 will be the first “Dash To Chula Vista” Race, hosted by Chula Vista Yacht Club.

Starting from our new location on Harbor Island, and (Leg One) finish at the Chula Vista Yacht Club, on Saturday April 21 – where a Welcoming Party will be waiting for you, complete with food, beverage and fun. Then, leave your Martin 16s behind and motor back to the Challenged America dock on Harbor Island…rest at home…and then return, the next day (April 22) to Challenged America and we’ll take you to Chula Vista YC (or you can drive), for the start of Leg Two, from the Chula Vista YC to the finish line at Challenged America on Harbor Island.

A great opportunity to experience a distance race from the North Bay to the South Bay, and learn so much more about sailing and your Martin 16. This will be a fun event for everyone, sailors, family members and friends. Sponsors are welcome and needed.

Notice will be sent to all on the Challenged America Newsletter list, once arrangements have been made…but mark your calendars today for the “Dash To Chula Vista” Race.

New addition to the Challenged America fleet

Squalus ( dogfish shark), a Pacemaker 36 became the latest boat to enter the Challenged America fleet.  She is a sportsfisherman with twin diesel engines.

Thank you Bruce Nelson (Nelson Marek) and David Reed