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Anyone who has attended the My State Tasmanian Wooden Boat Festival (February 8 to 11 this year) and has gone to some of the seminars will most likely have seen a vivacious American lady that everyone appears to know. Kaci Cronkhite was the director for the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival for a decade, so her knowledge and love of wooden yachts is understandable.

In 2007 she saw an intriguing yacht in the harbour outside her office window, thus began a love affair that only yachties can understand. Pax was a 28 foot, rundown wooden ‘spidsgatter’ design from one of the Scandinavian countries back when they were popular at the turn of the 20th century. Double-ended, low in the water, these designs were perfectly suited to the northern latitude waters.

This chance meeting triggered off a decade long search by Cronkhite to find out the full history of her yacht from when she was first launched in 1936.

In between sailing and rebuilding, Cronkhite travelled around the world to piece together a remarkable single yacht’s journey. In the meantime she meets people who share her love of wooden boats and in particular the spidsgatter design.

This is a simple story but lovingly told by Kaci. Her experience in sailing and in writing is easily seen in the prose of the book and the flow of the story.
Available online or from Boat Books.
www.boatbooks-aust.com.au.

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