Wooden boats take pride of place

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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. 

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