First time at Festival?

In 2023 Highlights, Festival Highlights

The Wooden Boat Festival is a celebration of boatbuilding skills, craft, education, and adventure. There are hundreds of wooden boats of all shapes and varieties, hands-on demonstrations and presentations, activities for kids, and a number of ways to get out on the water. If you’re new to Festival, you may be wondering—where do I start?

Here are some tips and can’t-miss activities to make the most of your Festival experience:

Tour the Boats

One of the most fun things to do is go aboard boats and talk to the owners. All the boats are open for the Festival public to tour from 9 AM to 6 PM.

Check out the Presentations
If you are new to boats and boating, check out the Adventure Stage where avid adventurers recount their tales of voyages—both big and small— and share captivating photographs. Learn why and how they do it, and relish the inspiration.

Visit the Woodworking Tent & Make Something
Get hands-on and make a wooden pen, cheese board, or small bowl, and get a feel for working with wood. More experienced woodworkers can challenge themselves by practicing dovetail joinery.

Watch the Famous Sail By at 3 PM on Sunday
A Festival tradition! Enjoy a one-of-a-kind showcase of hundreds of the region’s most treasured boats taking to the water together to do what they were made to do: go sailing! Large and small, newly built and historic, some 250–300 gorgeous wooden boats grace Port Townsend Bay and sail right past the Festival grounds.

Check out The Point
Home of the Paddleboard Pool, Kids’ Cove, and the return of the pirate bar “The Wee Nip.” With stunning views of the Port Townsend Bay and the whole Festival harbor, The Point is a treasure trove of things to do for families and adults alike.

Best Way to Experience the History of Wooden Boats
Venture out on one of our longboats, which are replicas of the yawls carried aboard HMS Discovery during Captain George Vancouver’s exploration of Puget Sound in the late 1700s.

Best Dance Party
Saturday night at Bar Harbor! Boogie down to the music of Uncle Funk and the Dope 6.

Want Some Traditional Sea Shanties? 
Check out the Sea Shanties in the Marina Room, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7–10 PM.

Header photo by Douglas Ludwig