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

Meet Challenged America at the San Diego Sunroad Boat Show

Stop in and meet Challenged America volunteers and participants at the San Diego Sunroad Boat Show this weekend

The 2012 Sailing Calendar

As always, planning a sailing calendar at Challenged America tends to be dependent upon funding and other resources, to include what boats we have, and the volunteers available.  Under consideration for the 2012 calendar are:

  1. San Diego to Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas ocean race (March, 2012).
  2. Martin 16 (Two-Day) Race to Chula Vista Yacht Club/Marina (April 21/22, 2012).
  3. Monthly or bi-Monthly Martin 16 Race Training and Races.
  4. Local Big Bay Races in “Casual” – the Santana 25.
  5. Newport-Ensenada, Border Run, and other offshore/coastal races.
  6. Multi-day cruise to Catalina.
  7. Class for sailing instructors: “Martin 16 Certification.”
  8. Captain (Basics 101) Training on Grand Banks 42 and Donzi, by The Maritime Institute.
  9. Power Squadron, Offshore Sailing Safety and First Aid Educational Programs.
  10. Sailing Camps for those with disabilities and/or having: Diabetes; Spinal Cord Injury/Disease, Epilepsy, mobility and communications challenges, Learning Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities, and youth with disabilities.
  11. Day-On-The-Big-Bay cruises, whale watching and other educational excursions aboard the motor yacht “Challenged America”- a Grand Banks 42.

Is there another special program you’d like to see and can participate in and help? Let us know.

Fall schedule

It being September, Challenged America will now shift to a Fall-Winter Sailing Scheduling – not due to the weather, but due to vacations ending and work schedules of our many volunteers.

Special training, meetings and events will only be listed on the monthly calendar, with the following Sailing Schedule becoming the norm.

  •  Open Martin 16 Sailing: Each and every Friday, noon, except Holidays. Reservations required 4 days (by Monday of that week) in advance so qualified volunteers can be arranged for vessel preparation and companion/instructor assistance.
  • Capri 22 Sailing: Request reservations at least 4 days in advance.
  • Special Sailing: Learn-to-sail, companion and instructor sailor training, and Martin 16 certification can be arranged 7-days per week, given a qualified volunteer(s) is/are available.

See our calendar

Please contact the Challenged America office for more information and to make your request.