Port Aransas is clawing back from Hurricane Harvey. How better to celebrate her recovery than with the Port Aransas Wooden Boat Festival, April 6-8? After all, wooden fishing boats, tall wooden ships and stubby wooden hauling scows put Port Aranasas on the map. The Port Aransas Wooden Boat Festival touches on all of those.
Admire the Texas Butthead
Maybe you read my post about the Texas Scow Schooner, called a “Texas Butthead” by more refined naval architects. Check out the loving reconstruction of the Lydia Ann, a scow schooner that was rescued by the wooden-boat loving folks in Port Aransas. With the shoals and sandbars all along the Texas Coast, vessels like the Lydia Ann brought the goods inland to early Texans.
Family Boat Building
Always wanted to try your hand at building a wooden boat? You’re too late to register for this year but this is something you’ll want to sign up early for in 2019. Three wooden boats will be born at the festival – two types of quick canoes and one Port Aransas skiff.
Watch each of the boats start as a pile of parts on Friday morning under a tent at Roberts Point Park. After lots of fun and hard work, these completed boats will making their maiden voyages in the harbor. Sounds like a bucket list opportunity to work together on a cool project.
Nautical Flea Market
If it has to do with some kind of floating vessel, you’ll probably find it at the Port Aransas Wooden Boat Festival. Pick up some authentic hardware for your favorite boater.
Rowing in the harbor
According to the festival site, “rowboats will be available on the dock for a leisurely row around the harbor.” You can also impress your spouse by competing in a rowing contest. I’m sure this activity will be held in a very safe area, but anyone who rides the Port Aransas ferry probably has got to be smiling right now. Can you imagine a dinky little rowboat trying to dodge the ferries and tankers while the dolphins watch in amazement?
Why a Port Aransas Wooden Boat Festival?
This festival really gets to the heart of what makes this town so special. Port Aransas’ fishing fame didn’t get established until Barney Farley convinced Franklin Delano Roosevelt to fish from one of his wooden boats. No other personal craft could take on Port A’s rough conditions.
From 1915 until 1975, Farley Boats were built in Port Aransas. You can read their amazing story here and how the Port Aransas Museum resurrected the Farley Boat Works in 2011. That’s a whole other reason to visit Port A this weekend.
And if wooden boats aren’t enough…
The best reason to visit? Port Aransas has been through a hellacious year after Harvey. Get down to the Port Aransas Wooden Boat Festival and show your support. Drink beer at Shorty’s or the Gaff. Eat a meal at Shell’s or The Crazy Cajun. Spend some time and some money. Feel good and do some good things for the Texas Coastal town we love so much!
Places to Go in Port Aransas
Here’s a run-down on our favorite places to go in Port A. This was written BH (Before Harvey) but most are making it back. Let me know what you find.