The thousands of boat enthusiasts who came to Georgetown
on Saturday for a fantastic display of wooden boats didn’t seem to notice the piles of bricks along Front Street
where a half-dozen businesses had stood before a fire earlier this year.
The boat-builders were there, the craftsmen, the food and the crowds.
Exhibitors brought in hundreds of wooden sailboats, motorboats, kayaks and canoes. Some were built just this year, some were originally built 100 years ago and lovingly restored. There were folks there who could show you how to build your own boat.
Boats were on land along Front Street and on water in the marina, where they were competing in a dozen categories. There were separate winners in the classic category for boats more than 50 years old.
The Wooden Boat Challenge brought together teams of fathers and sons, brothers and husbands and wives to complete a Carolina Bateau skiff in fewer than four hours. (Although everyone followed the same pattern, no one followed the same process.) The teams could get points for finishing their vessel first, then points for appearance and finally points for the rowing race after the boats were done.
The competition is part of the National BoatBuilding Challenge. First place wins $500, second place wins $300 and third place wins $200. But for most of the competitors, it’s about the pride of building the best boat they can in four hours – or less. The 2011 winning team of Lora and Vic Fasolina from Beaufort, N.C., completed their boat in two and a half hours. They skipped last year, but were back this year to see whether they could reclaim their title.
For the kids, there was a model boat building competition that involved fewer power tools that the grown-up competition.
There also were rowing and sailing classes for the little ones, and Dan the Knot Man was on hand to teach everyone how to tie nautical knots.
The Wooden Boat Show
is the largest fundraiser for the South Carolina Maritime Museum’s
(843) 520-0111, 729 Front St. The museum was damaged in the fire, but is still there.