Last month I had the real pleasure of attending a wonderful boat show in Georgetown, South Carolina with my mom. Now this was not a boat show where manufacturers show off their new fiberglass boats for sale. This was a show for the nostalgic lovers of old wooden boats.
And this was a show for the creative folks that had fashioned some new and amazing wooden boats.
And this was a show for crafters to show off wooden boat beds, cradles and more!
So this, of course, was The 23rd Annual Wooden Boat Show! And you could tell that the organization was experienced in hosting this well run festival with a little of something for everyone.
A mixture of boats and crafters lined the street.
Kudos to this builder for staging his boat so well!
Who wouldn’t want a cruise in this Century classic complete with a picnic?
The boat builders and owners were all very happy to tell you about their boats.
Loved these oars! Similar ones are on permanent display at a wonderful restaurant, The River Room.
There were activities for children including knot tying.
There were pirates wandering the streets with a mermaid in tow.
And there were musical performances, plenty of food and a small beer garden.
One of the most interesting features each year is the boat building competition. Teams of two have four hours to complete a small, wooden skiff from scratch and to prove its seaworthiness there is a rowing relay to follow.
The announcer keeps watch from atop a ladder and checking the teams’ progress keeps visitors busy.
Georgetown’s waterfront restaurants, shops and several museums were naturally all open and welcoming visitors.
This show is South Carolina Maritime Museum’s main annual fund raiser. I had been to the museum once before and noted a picture of the Prinz Oskar, a vessel that had unfortunately sunk Georgetown’s prize schooner, “The City of Georgetown” in 1913. The name Prinz Oskar had rang a bell and when I got home and checked my Italian grandfather’s 1905 immigration papers I found that he had come from Naples, Italy to New York on that same vessel! Of course mom wanted to see the picture for herself at the museum!
Then we squeezed in a visit to the Georgetown Rice Museum which is home to the Brown’s Ferry Vessel. The remains of this 18th century cargo ship was found in Georgetown County in the Black River. In 1992 after 16 years of restoration it was placed on the top floor of the Georgetown Rice Museum. How did it get there? Well they raised the roof, of course! It was by far the oldest boat we saw that day with an approximate build date of 1720. In fact, it is the oldest known American built boat.
We were also privileged to be treated to the sponsor tent thanks to the generosity of one of the local restaurant owners that I’ve come to know so we ate and drank very well right there on the water. Needless to say we had a wonderful time and have already saved the date for next year: October 19, 2013! Hope to see you there!