Whether you’re a boating enthusiast or prefer to keep your feet on dry land, the 45th annual Wooden Boat Show has activities for you. The show, organized by the NC Maritime Museum, takes over Front Street in downtown Beaufort from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, May 4 and is the longest ongoing wooden boat show in the Southeast.
This free event celebrates the art of wooden boat building, the sport of boat racing and the culture and history that surrounds these works of arts. Dozens of handcrafted wooden boats, full size and model, will be on display, polished and shined, for all to see.
Paul Fontenoy, museum curator and Wooden Boat Show coordinator, said 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 explained. “We have activities for children and opportunities for families to do things together, such as taking a boat ride.”
Highlights of the show include:
Wooden Boat Kids – Starting at 10am, children will be invited to sand, design and assemble their own wooden boats. If preferred, they can blow wind in their sails while boating on the temporary pond on the museum’s front patio. This craft is very popular and boat supplies often run out early.
Free Sailboat Rides –On Thursday and Friday, May 2-3 boat rides will be offered from 1-3pm and on Saturday, May 4, free boat rides in a traditional wooden boat will be offered from 1-4pm. Donations are accepted.
Traditional Sailboat Races – Watch the races on Taylors Creek. At 11am, 2pm and 3pm.
Carolina Maritime Model Expo – In past years the number of model boats on exhibit has ranged 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. 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 visitors.
Cricket II – The boat made its debut at the show last year. 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."
In-Water Boat Show – A number of boats will be on display at the Beaufort Town Docks. From Sinbad’s pirate ship the Meka II to a traditional Core Sounder fishing boat.
Boating Skills Virtual Trainer – Fort Macon Sail & Power Squadron will have its virtual trainer on hand for demonstrations from 9am-5pm on Friday, May 3 and 1-5pm on Sunday, May 5.
Nautical Rope Tying – Don Van Hoy keeps alive a tradition of working with ropes and knots for practical purposes.
The kick-off reception for the annual Wooden Boat Show will be held at the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center on Friday, May 3. The event includes food and live music from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 per person and are available at the museum store.
To learn more about the Wooden Boat Show or the NC Maritime Museum, visit www.ncmaritimemuseumbeaufort.com.