Whether you are thinking about building your own boat, want to learn a new skill, or simply enjoy hearing and talking about boats, there's something for everyone. All workshops are free of charge and no registration is required.

Workshop Tent

All About Epoxy Applications in Boat Building 

Scott Dagley, master boatbuilder at NorseBoat in Lunenburg, discusses the uses of stitching glue compounds, fairing materials, and different fibreglass cloths on wood. Scott continues to build boats under Dagley's Boatworks, while managing NorseBoats at 151 Montague St., Lunenburg.
Sponsored by:
Seabright Marine

All About Varnishing 

Natasha Kilburn of Kilburn Marine @ Gold River Marina will demonstrate the proper techniques for varnishing and painting boats and will address any specific questions or problems you may have.
Sponsored by: Mount Gay Rum

Building History for the Future with BLUENOSE IV 

Joan Roue will discuss the importance of preserving the Bluenose legacy and the need to preserve the heritage of the boatbuilding industry in NS. Blueprints for the original Bluenose, Bluenose 1V and the Sloop will be on display. A video slideshow of the Bluenose will also be shown. Joan will also do a book signing for her book entitled "A Spirit Deep Within".
Sponsored by: Mahone Insurance Group

Crewing on the Clipper Round the World Race 

Alyson Murray, a 21-year-old student from Bridgewater, will be a crew member in the 2009-10 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Alyson has signed on for the final two legs of this 35,000 mile race. She will talk about her preparations for joining eighteen other crew members aboard 'Cape Breton Island- Nova Scotia's Masterpiece' in California next April.
Sponsored by: Mount Gay Rum

Decorative Rope Work 

Albert Kennedy is a deep-sea fisherman working offshore from Greenland to Georges Bank. Watch him work his magic and learn some of his tricks in creating beautiful rope pieces of art during this hands-on workshop. (You might want to bring a pair of well-fitted gloves to protect your fingers.)
Sponsored by: Oak Island Resort

Diving Wrecks 

Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the waves? Come discover the thrill of Nova Scotia wreck diving with Tony Sampson, Wreck diver and Master Instructor with twenty-seven years in the sport.

Find Your Way Using Compass & Chart 

For recreational boaters, this informative session, given by Michael Ernst of Sail Mahone Bay, is designed to cover the basic skills of using a compass and chart. Michael will be pleased to answer any questions you may have on this subject.
Sponsored by: Kinburn Pharmasave

History and Use of Boat Models: Not Just Toys 

Master Modeler Ben Verburgh has been a professional model maker for over forty years. His ship models are displayed in museums throughout Canada. Ben’s presentation will cover the variety of uses and styles of boat models.


Bobby Cleveland started to learn knot-tying at a young age when he would go down to the boats in Lunenburg with his father who was a deep-sea fisherman out of Lunenburg. He joined Sea Cadets where he became more interested in knot-tying and mastered the knots one at a time. Discover the clever uses of knots such as clove hitch, reef knot, bowline.
Sponsored by: Mount Gay Rum

Learn to Sail on beautiful Mahone Bay
Part I

With Michael Ernst of Sail Mahone Bay has 30 years instructional experience with the Royal Yachting Association. This 2-session workshop will provide an introduction to the basics of this exciting activity. On Thursday evening, participants will look at sailing skills, terminology and knot tying. On Friday participants will be on the water sailing, putting theory into practice.
Location: Thursday, Workshop tent
Sponsored by:
Seabright Marine

Rigging and Wire Splicing 

Nick Kilburn spent ten years in the Caribbean on his 80-foot schooner and owned a charter business in Tortola. Today Nick and his wife Natasha own Kilburn Marine located at Gold River Marina. Nick will discuss and demonstrate proper rig tuning, wire splicing and rig overhaul, so important for safety in cruising and racing.
Sponsored by: Mount Gay Rum

The story of Oak island: Danny Hennigar 

Oak Island Nova Scotia is the site of the world’s longest running and most famous treasure hunt. The mystery began in the late 18th century and continues to this very day. Come to this well received and interesting presentation and learn why it is that after 213 years, even with our advanced technology and abilities of the 21st century, the mystery of Oak Island remains unsolved. Discover how it began, the tragedies, the humor, hope and struggles. Find out what is happening at Oak Island today. Danny Hennigar, a long time resident of Lunenburg county and executive member of the Oak Island Tourism Society who has spent over thirty years keenly researching and following the treasure hunt at Oak Island, will be your guide.
Sponsored by:  Oak Island Resort

Vendee Globe Solo Sailor Derek Hatfield 

Derek Hatfield, Canada’s solo round-the-world sailor, will discuss his amazing adventures in the Vendee Globe race in a multi-media presentation.
Thursday, July 30 at the Mahone Bay Centre (Old School)
Friday, July 31 in the Workshop Tent
Sponsored by:

Entertainment Tent

Installing Leathers on Oars 

Van Fancy of Fancy's Oars and Paddles will be demonstrating his technique of installing leathers to oars. Van is well-known throughout Canada and the United States for manufacturing a huge variety of oars and paddles for canoes and many other boat styles. No Charge
Sponsored by:  Amos Pewter

Paint the Festival 

Paint the harbour at festivel time!  Well-known marine artist, Frans Aeyelts, will focus on sketching and painting boats in the harbour. Please go to Frans Ayelts’ website [] for information on materials needed, as you must bring your own materials, or call him at 634-8918.
When: Friday July 31 9:30am-12:30pm
Where: Meet at Entertainment Tent No Charge


Other Locations

Introduction to Kayaking Boat Launch 

East Coast Outfitters of Lower Prospect are offering free introductory kayaking lessons. . Enjoy the beauty of Mahone Bay waters from a kayak while learning skills such as paddle strokes, rolls and safety measures. Workshops are limited to six people each. To make bookings, call Dave at 1-877-852-2567.
At the Boat Launch

NorseBoat Attempts the Northwest Passage 

Beginning the third week of July 2009, two Royal Marines from the UK are sailing, rowing and when necessary dragging their NorseBoat 17.5 Sailing and Rowing Cruiser across the ice in their attempt to be the first open boat through the legendary Northwest Passage. They will have a seven-week window to complete the 1700 mile epic journey. The Arctic Mariner team will maintain a blog on their website A NorseBoat 17.5 will be on display at this year’s Festival. Kevin Jeffrey, owner and president of NorseBoat Limited, will give an overview of the boat and the expedition.
Static Display Tent