Doris, Jasper, Miss Belair, Pablo, Freda, Miss Kathleen, and Lady Glad all ventured to Lake Rotoiti's Wairau Bay on Saturday.

They were among more than 70 boats in the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Association's 21st annual wooden boat parade.

The first wooden boats at Lake Rotoiti were Ngāti Pikiao waka.

Despite all the technological advances since then, wooden boats are still gracing the lake's bush-lined bays, but nowadays you'll find a much wider range of shapes and sizes, and of course, the presence of much-appreciated motors.

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Spectators watch on as the Classic and Wooden Boat Parade takes place on Lake Rotoiti in 2017. Photo / File
Spectators watch on as the Classic and Wooden Boat Parade takes place on Lake Rotoiti in 2017. Photo / File

This year's parade included sailing boats, wooden dinghies with outboards on the back, small launches, large launches, and old classic speedboats.

They varied courses for each division, from the crowds of onlookers at Ōkere Falls to Wairau Bay for a picnic lunch for participants.

The bay is accessible only by boat, but it was full to the brim on Saturday afternoon.

The association's commodore Grant Wallace had been organising the event with his committee for the past year, and on the day "the weather was perfect".

Part of the the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade in 2018. Photo / File
Part of the the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade in 2018. Photo / File

There were games of tug of war, sack races, and even "chocolate dunks" for children, while adults could sit back and enjoy a wine, and have a look at the boats on display.

Owners came from as far as Taupō and Auckland for the day, but about half were from the Rotorua area.

The association has more than 200 members and Wallace said most were older folk.

Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Association commodore Grant Wallace. Photo / File
Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Association commodore Grant Wallace. Photo / File

"There are a few younger ones, but the people need to afford to buy them and look after them because they're not low costing a lot of them."

He said the typical owner was "a practical person".

"They are like a classic car, you clean it, you keep it right, it's a real hobby."

One boat, Resurrection, had been in a "terrible condition" but was restored, and the parade was its first outing.

"There were one or two boats that hadn't been out for a while, but were chugging along, which was good to see," Wallace said.

For the first time this year, the association built a floating jetty to make it easier for elderly participants to get on and off the boats at Wairau Bay.

Wairau Bay jetty built for the 2019 parade. Photo / Supplied
Wairau Bay jetty built for the 2019 parade. Photo / Supplied

"Some of the people have ailments which make it difficult for them to get on and off the boats, so now we have a jetty that saves people having to use the ladders."

Wallace said the association had spent a month building the jetty with a barge at the outer end, a platform, and walkway.