Bodega Bay: Wooden Boat Challenge

How fast can a sea-worthy vessel come together? Watch and sea — er, see.

FLOAT-ABILITY REQUIRED: If you were tasked with building a hand-sized boat for the bath tub, one that would stay up, on the surface of the H20, where would you begin gathering your materials? The garage? The attic? Would you rummage around and find an old milk jug? The possibilities are plentiful for a vessel of that size. Now imagine having to build an actual-sized boat possessing float-ability, over a matter of hours, out of wood, while a number of other talented teams try to do the same thing. There's a lively intensity to the pursuit, for sure, and some hallowed tradition, too. For we're referring to the annual Wooden Boat Challenge at the Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival, one of the spirited showdowns of the springtime weekend celebration. The 2017 competition'll happen on Saturday, April 8, and even if you have no notion of entering, you can still swing by Westside Park to admire the sweat and ingenuity that went into the impressive, made-quick creations. The building materials are "provided" for the teams, and the time limit to finish? Three hours, whoa. 

THE FESTIVAL... brims with plenty of ocean-sweet doings, from the Sunday morning Blessing of the Fleet (you can bet the vessels on the water will be gussied up for the important occasion) to live tunes, crafts for sale, and more. It's the 44th go-around for the briny bash, a party that marks the kick-off of salmon fishing season. As for the funds raised from admission fees? They go to non-profits and services around Bodega Bay. Note that the festival is on for the full weekend, April 8 and 9, but if you want to eye those wooden boats, definitely be there on day #1. Tickets? Paddle this way and cast your line.

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