Arthur Johnson and Jerry Miller, both of Georgetown, work on building a wooden skiff in the boat building contest.
The 23rd Annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show went off without a hitch, and drew a crowd of thousands to downtown Georgetown on Saturday, Oct. 20. The weather was ideal. Humidity was low with a touch of fall in the air. Crisp, Carolina blue skies reminded all present of all there is to love about South Carolina's Lowcountry.
Some merchants suffered loss of business because of a power outage along parts of Front Street. See the separate story for more information.
The Wooden Boat Show has earned a reputation for featuring one of the best wooden boat exhibits in the entire nation, and this year proved no exception. From early morning into a busy evening, Georgetown's streets — especially Front Street — and the whole Harborwalk bustled with activity.
The National BoatBuilding Challenge from noon until 4 p.m. was — as it always is — at the heart of the action.
This year, 16 teams vied for three top awards. In a nutshell, the competition involves teams of two — each of which is provided with the same materials. The goal is to build a water-worthy classic Carolina Bateau. Participants were judged with three criteria — speed, quality of workmanship and a two-man rowing race in the Sampit River that concludes the event.
The Harborwalk was packed for the race. People lined the boardwalk, tiptoed on boat tops, and watched from rooftops as competitors hit the water. The applause, cheering, shout-out approval and laughter was an unqualified tribute to the event's success.
In addition to the Challenge itself, approximately 125 exhibitors showcased everything from classic wooden boats (on land and water) and intricate carvings, to model boatbuilding activities for kids, knot tying lessons, lots of maritime art and crafts, good food and great music. A number of the community's non-profit organizations were on hand, too, including Waccamaw Riverkeeper, All 4 Paws, SC-CARES, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
S.C. Maritime Museum
The spacious, new museum is open and filled with exhibits that chronicle the state's remarkable maritime history, a history so rich it will surprise residents and tourists. It is located on the first floor of an old McCrory five-and-dime store building, on the waterfront in the middle of Georgetown's historic business district. The front third of the Museum's 5,000-square-foot space has been finished and fitted for an exhibit area and small gift shop. The original maple floors and brick walls have been exposed and a moveable wall can be slid back as more exhibits are added. It is presently the only museum in the state with the sole mission of interpreting S.C. Maritime history.
By the way, you can still purchase Keel Culbertson Swinnie's 2012 poster and T-shirts at the Museum.
There are endless stories connecting the sea to agriculture, commerce, military, recreation, education, and how ships and their crews and builders played a role. It is the mission of the SC Maritime Museum to tell these stories through: interactive exhibits, rare artifacts from the marine industry, model ships and artwork, educated volunteers and staff, and special programs for young and old.
If you are an individual who owns items related to Georgetown's maritime history, consider donating or loaning your stash to the Museum. Since the HHA is a 501(c)(3) organization, contributions are tax deductible, and the organization is in process of developing means by which charitable gifts may be made directly to the museum. Annual memberships to the Museum will go toward the museum's operating budget, museum events and programs
Do visit the Museum - on the waterfront at Front and Broad streets. There's also a great website at WoodenBoatShow.com. You are welcome to call the museum at 843-520-0111. And seek out the South Carolina Maritime Museum and The Wooden Boat Show on Facebook. Museum director Susan Sanders will answer any and all questions willingly. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
People’s Choice Award Winner
#406 Tommy Graham, McClellanville, SC — 1934 Chris-Craft Sedan 18’ Sara
Skip White & Dave Lowe, Murrells Inlet and Georgetown, SC
Bruce Fleming, Jr. and Bruce Fleming, III Jacksonville, FL and Asheville, NC
Sean Hoelscher & Gary Gates, Georgetown, SC
Dynamite Payson National Award Winner: Skip White and Dave Lowe
White/Lowe: 3:03:49 finished second in speed, first in quality, third in rowing
Flemming/Flemming: 2:47:47 finished first in speed, second in quality, seventh in rowing
Hoelscher/Gates: 3:40:01 finished fourth in speed, third in quality, fourth in rowing
#5 John Martin, Cottageville, SC — 2002 Whitehall 14' Penelope
#52 John Warren, Mt. Pleasant, SC — 2011Canoe 16’
#103 Hamp Kirkland, Mt. Pleasant, SC — 1999 Double Paddle Canoe 10.5’
#151 Janet Baumberger, Swansea, SC 2011 Surfboard 11.5’
#217 Bill Jones, Yonges Island, SC — 1960s Abaco Sailing Dinghy 10'
#252 Carl Prestipino, Spartanburg, SC — 1938 Dyer Dinghy 10' Wasp
#301 Jack Budak, Charleston, SC — 2011 Atkins Ninigret 22’ Livvy Lou
#361 Gerald Hurst, Jacksonville, NC — 2012 Runabout 24' Legend Has It...
#404 Chris Bech, Georgetown, SC — 1951 Chris-Craft Runabout 19’ — Rockin' Robin
#451 Bryan Hornsby, Lugoff, SC — 1957 Outboard Powerboat 13.5' Woodpecker
Owner Designed & Built
#508 Matthew Gunning, Summerville, SC — 2005 Runabout 14.5' Spitfire
#551 Carson Benton /Neal Swann, Georgetown, SC — 1900 Sailboat 13'
By Kimberly Duncan
For The Times
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