Goolwa is a popular holiday destination and coastal town on the Fleurieu Peninsula near the mouth of the River Murray and the Hindmarsh Island bridge. As part of the Encounter Marine Park a large number of water sports are very popular including surfing, diving and canoeing the Coorong. This year the South Australian Wooden Boat Festival takes place on the weekend of February 21-22 at the historic Goolwa wharf precinct. Live music and entertainmentOf course the Wooden Boat Festival has much more than a display of boats - there are fun things to do for all ages. The Baker Suite will light up the main stage on Saturday afternoon with their warm combination of acoustic guitar and Parisian style accordion music. Fun things to doTake a cruise on the iconic Goolwa Paddle Steamer Oscar W (now more than 100 years old) and Paddle Steamer Marion of Mannum (built in 1897). For landlubbers Steamranger's Cockle Train will be running to Victor Harbor and back, another special experience for the whole family. Watch or join in the Bote Cote Epoxy Systems Rough and Ready Boat Building and Sailing Competition - each couple are given sheets of ply, some timber & materials to build a boat that floats and navigate a course.
With so many families visiting Goolwa there are plenty of activities for kids and families too.
On Saturday night, thrill to a spectacular fireworks display from the Hindmarsh Island Bridge. No festival is fun without food, and there's going to be enough variety to make you drool at the Wooden Boat Festival. For more Information about the South Australian Wooden Boat Festival point your cursor at their website and check the Facebook page for the latest event gossip. WeekendNotes will notify you of the best free community events, concerts, exhibitions, cinema, festivals, and markets in your town or city. Birks Harbour Marina is an ideal location at the River Port of Goolwa for boating enjoyment and pleasure with access to the mighty Murray, the Lakes of Alexandrina and Albert and the Coorong wilderness.
BIRKS HARBOUR is a unique, serene place on the Murray River, we offer our boaties the opportunity to enjoy the ambience of this private Marina.
Just over an hour's drive south of Adelaide lies Goolwa, a town located on the River Murray on the Fleurieu Peninsula. When wooden boats and paddle steamers were built in the 19th century, the now historic Goolwa Wharf Precinct was recognised as a premier site for them.
Thus it is hardly surprising that Goolwa is now home to the biennial South Australian Wooden Boat Festival. TV personality Griff Rhys Jones of the popular BBC series Three Men in a Boat will be a special guest and will officially open the festival on Saturday.
A highlight of the festival is The Rough and Ready competition where teams of two will build a vessel and set it to sail. If the activities so far are a cause for motion sickness, relief can be found in the maritime exhibits and visual arts displays.

Kids will delight in a host of activities including the ever popular Imagination Playground, puppetry program, face painting, pirate trails and carnival amusements. For the finale, fireworks from Hindmarsh Island Bridge will light up the sky and mark another successful event held in this region of South Australia.
For a $5 weekend pass you will be able to set your eyes on over 200 vessels from canoes to paddle steamers, from kayaks to putts putts as well as dragon boats.
I had seen mention of this event but had though about writing an article, but I think you did a much better job than I would have.
It looks like three of the Murray River Paddlesteamers based in Echuca have been placed on the market.
From photos online it looks as though 'Pride' is timber hulled, while the others are steel hulled with timber decks and superstructures. Out of ignorance, I presume there are separate engines for each side wheel, to allow backing on one side and filling on the other. As far as I know, one engine only and both wheels on the one shaft (no clutches), so wide turning-circles.
If a stern-wheeler drives you onto a sandbar the hull grounds before the wheel gets damaged.
On the other hand, if the paddles are built strongly enough, a side-wheeler can 'walk' the hull over a sandbar if it's not too high. The Murray's largest paddle-wheeler is a stern-wheeler, the Murray Princess, based at Mannum.
Most of the side-wheelers I've seen at Goolwa were there for the festival -- although I've no doubt a lot of side-wheelers ply those waters in normal times too.
Some of the design considerations of paddle wheels and their drives is enough to do your head in . European side-wheelers, such as the PS Waverley, connect the wheels with solid drive shafts that limit maneuverability and give the craft a wide turning radius. Jack, Jenn and I had booked to cruise on Murray Princess, and when they heard I was a wooden boatie from way back they gave me the master's cap and told me to get on with it.
That was back in '07 and I don't remember all the details now, but I think Murray Princess might have had twin rudders; they were under a little afterdeck astern of the wheel. Handling I remember as being quite responsive, but then I'm not a paddle-wheel driver so I have nothing much to compare it with. There are many Goolwa attractions including SteamRanger's Cockle Train, the Goolwa Markets, Goolwa Motor Museum and the Steam Exchange Brewery. But one of the most exciting Goolwa attractions only happens every alternate year - the South Australian Wooden Boat Festival. It's now recognised as one of the major festivals of its type in the southern hemisphere attracting around 300 vessels to Goolwa.
There will again be a stunning array of wooden boats to see including putt putts, paddle steamers, row boats, speed boats and grand river boats.

Free live entertainment will include the South Australian Navy Band and cool jazz, harmonies and grooving beats on the main stage to set a great mood for the weekend.
Fresh from WOMADelaide 2014, The Baker Suite has opened for Elton John, Kate Ceberano and many more high profile acts. Follow the Pirate Trail, a map experience where children can learn and collect treasures along the way. This award winning festival will be held here over two days from the 23rd to 24th February, marking its thirteenth appearance.
If that is not enough steam to raise excitement, a cruise on one of the paddle steamers might. Indulge in regional produce whilst enjoying live music which include the likes of Jay Hoad Band. To get WoodenBoat delivered to your door or computer, mobile device of choice, etc, click WB Subscriptions.
What I meant was, are the boats on that stretch of river likely to find deeper water and fewer snags because of weirs than, say, the Murray Princess (sternwheeler) downstream of the weirs at Mannum?
The year I helmed her, water levels were so low that she couldn't get upstream as far as Lock No.2. Though the side wheels and enclosing sponsons make them wider than stern-wheelers, they may be more maneuverable, since they can sometimes move the paddles at different speeds, and even in opposite directions.
Some were built with paddle clutches that disengage one or both paddles so they can turn independently. One of the highlights is when the steam boats meet the steam train – with its unique position Goolwa is one of the few places in the world where this can actually happen. Nuvo will play on Saturday evening - an eight piece Afro-Caribbean band well known to Adelaide audiences for their uplifting soca grooves, wicked horn sounds and percussive beats.
Get the kids transformed with face painting, or watch a special screening of the Australian classic film Storm Boy which was shot in Goolwa. This extra maneuverability makes side-wheelers popular on the narrower, winding rivers of the Murray-Darling system in Australia, where a number still operate.
However, wisdom gained from early experience with side-wheelers deemed that they be operated with clutches out, or as solid shaft vessels. Crews noticed that as ships approached the dock, passengers moved to the side of the ship ready to disembark.
The shift in weight, added to independent movements of the paddles, could lead to imbalance and potential capsizing.

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