The Georgetown Wooden Boat Show has earned a reputation for featuring one of the best wooden boat exhibits in the entire nation, and this year 23rd annual event proved no exception.
From early morning into a busy evening, Georgetown’s streets — especially Front Street — and the whole Harborwalk bustled with activity.
A power outage during the afternoon was the only bump in an otherwise smooth day.
The National BoatBuilding Challenge 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.
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 Wooden Boat Show 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
The museum is at Front and Broad streets and can be reached by calling 843-520-0111. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tommy Graham, McClellanville: 1934 Chris-Craft Sedan 18’ Sara.
First place: Skip White and Dave Lowe, Murrells Inlet and Georgetown, 3:03:49, second in speed, first in quality, third in rowing
Second place: Bruce Fleming Jr. and Bruce Fleming III, Jacksonville, Fla. and Asheville, N.C., 2:47:47, first in speed, second in quality, seventh in rowing.
Third place: Sean Hoelscher and Gary Gates, Georgetown, 3:40:01, fourth in speed, third in quality, fourth in rowing
Dynamite Payson National Award: White and Lowe.
Row: John Martin, Cottageville, 2002 Whitehall 14’ Penelope.
Canoe: John Warren, Mount Pleasant, 2011Canoe 16’.
Kayak: Hamp Kirkland, Mount Pleasant, 1999 Double Paddle Canoe 10.5’.
Surfboard: Janet Baumberger, Swansea, 2011 Surfboard 11.5’.
Sail: Bill Jones, Yonges Island, 1960s Abaco Sailing Dinghy 10’.
Classic sail: Carl Prestipino, Spartanburg, 1938 Dyer Dinghy 10’ Wasp.
Outboard power: Jack Budak, Charleston, 2011 Atkins Ninigret 22’ Livvy Lou.
Inboard power: Gerald Hurst, Jacksonville, N.C., 2012 Runabout 24’ Legend Has It.
Classic inboard: Chris Bech, Georgetown, 1951 Chris-Craft Runabout 19’ — Rockin’ Robin.
Classic outboard: Bryan Hornsby, Lugoff, 1957 Outboard Powerboat 13.5’ Woodpecker.
Owner designed and built: Matthew Gunning, Summerville, — 2005 Runabout 14.5’ Spitfire.
Century class: Carson Benton /Neal Swann, Georgetown, 1900 Sailboat 13’.
By Kimberly Duncan
For The Times
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