Cricket II Jaws Boat

Cricket II

Legendary boat that inspired Jaws

Over forty years ago, Steven Spielberg’s shark saga, Jaws, frightened millions of moviegoers out of the water. Jaws original summer blockbuster in 1975 set the standard by which all others are measured. It became the highest grossing movie of all time (at the time) until Star Wars came to the theaters. The movie was released in June 1975.

Last year, the legendary Cricket II made its debut at Beaufort’s Annual Wooden Boat show hosted by the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Once again, visitors to the Beaufort waterfront will have the opportunity to see the fishing boat that became the inspiration for the book and movie Jaws. On May 7, the Cricket II returns to the town docks in Beaufort as part of the 42nd Annual Wooden Boat Show. It is the longest ongoing wooden boat show in the Southeast.

The legendary Cricket II is a 1947 Deltaville wooden boat that served its owner and captain Frank Mundus in the waters off Montauk, New York, in setting nine world records for rod and reel catches. It still holds the world record for the largest great white shark catch of 4,500 lbs. in 1964. This boat was featured on the television shows, Blue Water, White Death, Wide World of Sports and others. The boat was built with North Carolina yellow pine.

Later, Frank Mundus became involved with eco-fishing, utilizing Japanese circular fishing hooks that were better for catch, tag and release of the fish. He also was instrumental in helping to test early shark cages for divers and in university research in histamines with tuna.

The Cricket II was restored in 2014 after many years as a deep-sea fishing and commercial fishing boat. Its last captain, Captain Joe DiBella, had a new mission in mind for the lengendary boat. He spearheaded a 501(c)3 endeavor to take Disabled American Vets and Wounded Warriors fishing. Today, the Cricket II is perfect for wheelchairs and fitted with patent-pending electric fishing gear to aid vets.

Captain DiBella will be at the Annual Wooden Boat Show showing the Cricket II. In an effort to raise funds for this worthy cause, a fishing trip aboard the Cricket II will be raffled off on Saturday, May 7 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 each or $20 for 5 tickets. For more information, visit, www.cricket2project.com.

This free event celebrates the art of North Carolina boat building and the sport of boat racing. Dozens of handcrafted wooden boats will be on display and activities will be available for all ages from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 43rd Annual Wooden Boat Show has received top honors from the Southeast Tourism Society as a “Top 20 Event for the Southeast” for May 2017.  This is the third year in a row the museum has received the prestigious honor.

The North Carolina Maritime Museums is located at 315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516. For more information about the museum, visit www.ncmaritimemuseumbeaufort.com