Pocket Yacht Palooza sets sail this Saturday in Port Townsend

The sixth annual Pocket Yacht Palooza, a celebration of small-boat designs in the 6 to 22-foot range, will be held this Saturday, July 22, at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend.

The Palooza is the largest festival dedicated to small boats — wood, fiberglass, skin-on-frame — on the West Coast, drawing participants from as far away as Minnesota and Texas, not to mention Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.

Spotlighting 60 to 75 interesting sailboats, rowing and paddling boats and traditional camp-cruising powerboats, the Pocket Yacht Palooza is free to the public and open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NWMC, 431 Water Street, Port Townsend.

Most of the small boats will be displayed on the First Federal Commons, next to the NWMC boatshop; additional boats will be on the adjoining beach, with a few anchored just offshore.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, upstairs in a NWMC meeting room, the public will hear from the first team of rowers to ever finish the Race to Alaska — 750 miles from Port Townsend to Ketchikan.

Ian Graeme and Janice Mason of TEAM OARACLE

Ian Graeme and Janice Mason successfully completed this summer’s R2AK aboard a 22-foot rowing boat as Team Oaracle. Ian and Janice, who described their participation in R2AK as “the longest first date” in memory, will share photos and stories from their historic run as the first human-powered team to finish the Race to Alaska — no sails, no paddles or pedals, just sliding seats and two sets of oars.

The Pocket Yacht Palooza is organized by the Port Townsend Pocket Yachters; full details are on the club’s website at www.pocketyachters.com

Sponsors include Sage Marine; the Puget Sound chapter of the Traditional Small Craft Association; the Northwest Maritime Center; Small Craft Advisor magazine; the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, and the Salish Sea Small Boat Society.

Questions can be directed towards event coordinator Marty Loken via email at Norseboater22@gmail.com

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