OkoumeFest Wooden Boat Show

We wallowed in wooden boats. It was great. OkoumeFest 2017 will be May 19 & 20.  

OkoumeFest is Chesapeake Light Craft's annual open house and customer rendezvous, and was held May 13 and 14, 2016. Now in its 18th year, OkoumeFest celebrates small wooden boats and the people who build and use them. (Okoume is the attractive plantation-grown tropical wood that is to homebuilt boats what balsa is to airplane models.)

Thanks so much to everyone who made it to OkoumeFest this year! On Friday we had an afternoon of seminars at the shop in Annapolis, allowing us to ignore the drizzling rain.  On Saturday we shifted across to the beach at Matapeake State Park for on-water activities.  The blue sky and sailing breeze were pronounced perfect.  Around 3pm the sky to windward took on a purplish-greenish hue, heralding the approach of a fierce line squall. So we packed up a little early.  No matter; nearly everyone got out in the boats they wanted to try, and we had time to hand out awards to a varied and beautiful fleet of homebuilt wooden boats.

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 hard work and long hours required to make OkoumeFest unfold without a hitch.  Thanks again to Geoff Kerr for bringing his talent and knowledge to share.  And we are indebted, as always, to the Chesapeake Paddlers Association for their safety boats.

What did YOU think of OkoumeFest?  Let us know, and see you next year!  -John C. Harris 

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Shop Tour!

The scene in the showroom on Friday.

An insider's look at the CNC machine

John gave a shop tour and demonstrated our gigantic new CNC machine.  It does magical work, but John explained why big, complicated computerized machinery can be anything but magical to operate.

Geoff Demonstrates Tool Sharpening

Our friend and colleague Geoff Kerr of Two Daughters Boatworks trucked down from Vermont to help with seminars.  Here he is giving a talk on tuning up a block plane. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Filleting: John shows how it's done

John gets sticky and gooey demonstrating epoxy fillet technique.

John and Geoff demonstrate fiberglassing

Kayak guru Nick Schade was scheduled for a Friday performance, but he got tangled up in THIS.  We really can't blame him for turning around after four hours stuck in that hot mess. John and Geoff did a reasonable Nick Schade impersonation for the fiberglassing-over-wood seminar.

The parking lot was, as usual, crammed with boats of many descriptions.

Friday Cookout

The sun appeared as our colleague John Staub and his team fired up the grills and served out grilled chicken and burgers.

People came from far and wide, bringing their beauties with them for the next day's competition at the beach.  These are Petrels built by Dan Thaler.

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