There is a podcast for every passion. I regularly download more of them in a week than I have time to listen to. Among the ones I digest religiously is a new one: Hooked on Wooden Boats. Dan Mattson turns out a new show every Thursday in which he and various interviewees talk about “owning, using, admiring, repairing and building wooden boats.” At this writing there are over twenty episodes available.
Dan apparently grew up with powerboats for the most part but seems to have a growing appreciation for sail. His broadcast style is laid back and unaffected. A newcomer to podcasting, he is learning as he goes and any lack of production values in his earliest episodes was made up for by his persistence in gaining interviews with people of real interest to wooden boat enthusiasts. Among my favorites are his session with Larry Cheek who wrote a book chronicling his own adventure in building a small wooden sailboat. Year of the Boat is one of the better recent additions to nautical literature.
Dan has featured both Bill Mahler and Bruce Blatchley of the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, Washington. It’s a great institution and deserves to be promoted. Other episodes have included the Tacoma Sea Scouts, Sam Devlin, and many more people that build wooden boats, live on them or have taken epic cruises aboard them. All of this is the stuff that feeds a sailor’s dreams.
HOWB reminds me of the Furled Sails podcast produced by Noel and Christy Davis which faded away in March of 2010. They continually surprised me with many interviews featuring sailors boatbuilders and designers who’s books I had read and designs I had studied since I was a young man dreaming of the cruising life. Dan Mattson has picked up the baton and is jogging along with it quite nicely. It looks like “Wooden Boat Dan” as he is known on Facebook is in it for the long haul. Give a listen to the podcasts on iTunes or at the website. There is plenty of good nautical fare to keep you hooked.