Whether you’re a boating enthusiast or prefer to keep your feet on dry land, the Annual Wooden Boat Show has activities for all ages. The show takes place annually at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort on the first Saturday in May. It is the longest ongoing wooden boat show in the Southeast.
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 are available for all ages.
The Annual Wooden Boat Show received top honors from the Southeast Tourism Society, which has for years selected it as a “Top 20 Event for the Southeast.”
The show has something to offer everyone, even if those who are not wooden boat enthusiasts. There are activities for children and opportunities for families to do things together, such as taking a boat ride.
Youngsters can take part in maritime games and crafts in the Wooden Boat Kids area. Families can team up to test their skills in sailing radio-controlled model boats. And, kids can also make their own model sailboats. Enjoy traditional skills demonstrations and displays, educational activities, historic vessels, boat models, traditional sailboat races, and sailboat rides.
America’s Boating Club of the Crystal Coast, Fort Macon Sail & Power Squadron, has partnered with the North Carolina Maritime Museum to bring a Boating Skills Virtual Trainer for demonstration in the museum library. Attendees will have an opportunity to “virtually” maneuver the “Boston Whaler Dauntless 200” on a lake where there are no risks as you approach other boats in meeting, crossing, and overtaking situations.
Don Van Hoy became fascinated with rope while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. That was over 15years ago and his fascination still continues. He is keeping alive a tradition of working with ropes and knots for practical purposes. Known as Marlinspike seamanship, the practice goes back as long as there have been ships going to sea. Van Hoy will be demonstrating the art of knotwork.
One of the main attractions at the Annual Wooden Boat Show is the many traditional wooden boats. But, there’s another show that takes place on a smaller scale: the Carolina Maritime Model Exposition with model boats ranging from 25 to 40 inches in length.
The number of model boats on exhibit will range from 30 to close to 60 models. Often some members of the Carolina Maritime Model Society bring in as many as eight to 10 models each.
“These handcrafted vessels are indeed a labor of love, sometimes taking 12 to 14 months to complete,” according to Grant Caraway, Manager of the Museum’s Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center.
Attendees to the show will have the opportunity to vote for “Spectator’s Choice” award. The award goes to the “most popular” model at the show and is voted on solely by those visitors. The exposition is held in the auditorium of the North Carolina Maritime Museum.
Free boat rides are offered outside the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center (a $5 per person donation is suggested, which will go to the sailing program). The Annual Wooden Boat Show weekend opening event is a reception with live music from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the night before the show.
North Carolina Maritime Museum is located at 315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516.