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An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

July 1, 2009 at 5:14 PM

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Wooden Boat Festival welcomes treasures of maritime history

Posted by Gabriel Campanario

July 1, 12:41 p.m. [View larger] [Sketch location]

About 150 boats, as small as six and a half feet and as big as 140 feet, will be docked by Lake Union Park over the weekend to the delight of boating enthusiasts as part of the 2009 Wooden Boat Festival. I won't be able to attend the event, now in its 33rd year, so I stopped by this morning to see if could take an early peek of some boats.

The two-mast Gaff Schooner Zodiac was already docked. It is the largest sailing schooner currently operating on the West Coast and one of six classic boats taking part in the festival. "I'm looking forward to having 1,000 people walk the deck," said Richard DePartee, president of The Vessel Zodiac Corporation, and also a crew member of the Bellingham-based ship, which was built in 1924. "The boat has never been as beautiful as it is now. We've been restoring it for 30 years."

zodiactwo070109m.jpgJuly 1, 1:35 p.m. [View larger]

DePartee walked me around the 127-foot vessel, whose main mast stands 130 feet tall, and showed me inside the chart house and the living quarters, with bunk beds for up to 40 passengers, a big living room and a kitchen that can prepare up to 120 meals a day.

The festival goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free and donations are welcomed. There will be food, music and free boat rides, explains Mike McQuaid, spokesman for the Center for Wooden Boats. "It's a great chance for kids and kids at heart to try out some of the great treasures of maritime history in the Pacific Northwest," he said.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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