Whether you’re a boating enthusiast or prefer to keep your feet on dry land, the 42nd annual Wooden Boat Show has activities for all ages on Saturday, May 7. The show organized annually by Beaufort’s NC Maritime Museum, however, most of the displays spill out into the streets of downtown Beaufort.
The longest ongoing wooden boat show in the southeast, free to attend, 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 from 10am to 4pm.
Paul Fontenoy, Curator of Maritime Research and Technology, says the show has something to offer everyone, even if you’re not a wooden boat enthusiast. “We pay a lot of attention to making sure the show is not just interesting for wooden boat enthusiasts,” Fontenoy explains. “So we have 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 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 & displays, educational activities, historic vessels, boat models, traditional sailboat races at 3pm, and sailboat rides from 1 to 3pm.
On of the most anticipated events is the demonstration by Jim Goodwin and his Ships in Bottles. Attendees will have the opportunity to see one of the best known craftsmen in the art of building ships in a bottle. His demonstrations take place Friday from 5:30 to 7:30pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.
Last year, the legendary Cricket II made its debut at Beaufort’s Annual Wooden Boat Show. 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 Thursday, May 5, and Friday, May 6, free boat rides will be offered from 1 to 4pm outside the Watercraft Center (a $5 per person donation is suggested, which goes toward the sailing program). The Wooden Boat Show weekend opening event on Friday, May 6, includes a reception and live music from 5:30 to 7:30pm.
The NC Maritime Museum is located at 315 Front St., Beaufort. For more information, visit www.ncmaritimemuseums.com.