Whidbey Examiner


Boats show artistic nature

Whidbey Examiner Staff
September 23, 2013 · Updated 3:54 PM

Members of the Vancouver Morris Men dance on Front Street Saturday during the Art of the Boat Festival. In its first year, the Art of the Boat brought handmade vessels to Coupeville. The event included a performance by the Shifty Sailors, childrens activities and artist demonstrations throughout Coupeville. / Nathan Whalen photo

The streets of Coupeville had a distinct nautical theme Saturday.

Numerous hand-built boats popped up throughout the historic town to participate in Coupeville’s newest festival.

Coupeville’s Art of the Boat brought  numerous hand-built boats throughout town along with their owners who were on-hand to answer questions from curious passersby.

“It’s yet another wonderful thing about living here,” said Jackie Feusier, a Coupeville resident. She, along with her husband, Joe, brought several of their wood and nylon kayaks to the grassy area next to the Coupeville Wharf.

Adjacent to the kayaks was Langley resident Michael Hauser and his Paper Jet 14, which he built from designs featured in Wooden Boat magazine.

“I love supporting the local merchants,” Hauser said.

Oak Harbor resident John Hudson showed off his cedar canoe that he’s paddled in Canada, the Boundary Waters in Minnesota along with parts of the Missouri River in Montana. He said he based the design off a chestnut prospector’s canoe.

Coupeville resident Clarence Hein brought his wooden row boat, Black Fly, to the festival. He spent three months building the boat that he rows on Lone Lake and Pass Lake.

Organizer Claire Acord said there were around 20 boats scattered throughout the historic, Central Whidbey town and surrounding areas.

“We had some beautiful, hand-made, wooden boats,” Acord said.

Front Street was closed periodically throughout the festival while two Morris Men groups, the Vancouver and the MossyBack from Seattle, danced through downtown. Morris is a type of fold dancing that originated in rural England.

The Art of the Boat festival took place at several locations throughout Coupeville including the Pacific Northwest Art School, the Coupeville Recreation Hall, the farmers market and the library. The day included artists demonstrations, readings by several poets and authors and a performance by the Shifty Sailors.

Saturday’s festival is the first of a slate full of events scheduled in the coming weeks that will ensure a light-hearted autumn for Whidbey residents.

The Whidbey Kite Festival, the Tour de Whidbey, the Haller House open house, the Coupeville Oyster Fest and the Whidbey Island Farm Tour take place this weekend.

The Whidbey Scarecrow Corridor takes place throughout October and the HarvestFest is Oct. 13 at the community green located behind the library. That festival marks the final Coupeville Farmer’s Market of the season.


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