The company was hale, the weather hearty, and the 15th annual OkoumeFest was a success all around. Thanks to everyone who attended on May 17th and 18th, 2013!
OkoumeFest is Chesapeake Light Craft's annual rendezvous of small boats, and the people who love them. Staged at our Annapolis factory and at Matapeake State Park on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, the event name references the plantation-grown okoume wood ubiquitous in small boat projects. Folks poured in from all over the country, many bringing the boats they built. We lucked out again with excellent weather both days, not too hot for outdoor boatbuilding demos on Friday and only a trace of rain on Saturday.
Scroll down for the full recap. On-water photos continue on Page 2, and the award-winning boats are on Page 3. I'd like to thank the entire CLC staff and especially Ed Wigglesworth, CLC's chief operating officer, for the long months of preparation and overtime. Thanks to Nick Schade for insightful seminars and a good hang. We are grateful, as always, to the Chesapeake Paddlers Association for keeping a watchful eye over the fleet on Saturday.
We're anxious to know what you thought about OkoumeFest! Let us know, and we'll count the days until OkoumeFest 2014. -John C. Harris
The scene at first light on Saturday.
But first! Friday featured an open house at Chesapeake Light Craft's factory and store in Annapolis. We had lots of interesting new boats on display.
Geoff Kerr, boatbuilder, and Jay Hockenberry, draftsman, study the new CLC Expedition Wherry.
Due to enter production in 2013, the new Expedition Wherry is for fast rowing in rough water with or without camping gear on board.
Also getting a lot of attention was the Faering Cruiser, a private commission under construction at CLC. It's meant for rowing and sailing expeditions in coastal waters.
PocketShip was thronged as usual.
David Fawley delivers a seminar on tool sharpening.
Nick Schade demonstrated the application of fiberglass on the underside of a Petrel Play deck. Since he was doing it in direct sunlight there was muttering that he should receive combat pay. Best not to apply fiberglass in direct sunlight!
John Harris demonstrated varnishing techniques.
The usual cookout followed seminars and shop tours on Friday.
Then it was off to the beach for Saturday's on-water activities!