Akuna Bay festival The annual Akuna Bay Boating & Leisure Festival makes a spectacular return to picturesque Coal and Candle Creek next Friday to Sunday (September 27-29). The free family event will offer a range of new and used boats for sale, including Maritimo, Riviera and Prestige, as well as classic Halvorsens. Luxury cars and motorbikes will also be available. There will be free talks on boating in the Upper Deck Room from 11am-noon on Saturday and Sunday, while the kids get to play free on the jumping castle, that is when they're not ogling the supercharged Lotus Exige S, Lexus LX570 and Harley-Davidson. Meanwhile, the grub in the Driftwood Cafe is worth the visit alone. If you prefer formal dining, head upstairs to Cielo for a buffet lunch from noon-3pm on Saturday and Sunday. See dalboramarinas.com.au.
Gaffers Day out The biennial Sydney Harbour Gaffers Day Regatta, one of Australia's premier sailing events for classic wooden yachts built before 1970, sets sail on Sunday, October 13. Hosted for the past 41 years by the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, this year's regatta has attracted a fleet of historic 18-foot skiffs, metre boats, offshore yachts and gaff-riggers, some more than 100 years old. Spectators can secure a seat on the Rosman ferry, Proclaim — itself built in 1939 — departing Old Cremorne Wharf with food and refreshments on board and live commentary by Sydney sailing legend Bill Gale. Places are limited. Book via Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, phone 9953 1433; email email@example.com.
Faceboat friends Malcolm Turnbull, the patron of Sailors with disABILITIES, launched a fund-raising campaign called Faceboat last weekend. Through faceboat.org.au, you can donate money and a mugshot and have it splashed across the hull of the 52-foot purpose-built ocean racer Kayle when it races to Hobart on Boxing Day. More than 3800 snapshots can be placed on Kayle, to be unveiled on December 3, the International Day of People with Disability. See sailorswithdisabilities.com.
VanDutch 55 Sydney will soon be home to a new VanDutch 55, a Dutch-made motorboat described as the epitome of avant-garde yacht design and craftsmanship. Designed by Frank Mulder, the sleek VanDutch is powered by twin 900hp Volvo Penta engines for a top speed in excess of 40 knots. The boat will arrive next month to a marina at The Spit. See vandutchaustralia.com.au.