ONE of the boats at Launceston's Wooden Boat Rally was just a pile of timber a few years ago but is now among 70 on display at the Seaport.
Dominic Tyson, of Exeter, was yesterday showing off a replica US lobster fishing boat, called Gryphon, that his father Bruce built from celery top pine at Port Sorell in 2009.
The 8.53-metre boat with a 55-horsepower diesel motor is now moored in the Tamar River and makes regular pleasure cruises carrying the Tyson family, including to the boat rally.
``They do make fast boats but you need a lot of horsepower, so you spend all your money on diesel,'' Dominic said.
``But I only use about two litres of diesel an hour (with a top speed of nine knots).
``It's just beautiful to get out on the water - the different things you see, the wildlife.
``My dad built it . . . it took three years from the purchase of the timber to completion.''
Rally co-ordinator Wayne Higgs said wooden boat owners loved to show off their toys and talk with others about theirs, and the rally was a great place for that.
Mr Higgs said the rally also honoured the skills of boat-building, which were being lost, and highlighted the need to retain and conserve existing boats.
About 2500 people attended yesterday. The rally will run from 9am to 3pm today.