When David Bennett joined the N.C. Maritime Museum at Beaufort as maritime historian it was just days before the 2019 Wooden Boat Show. He had no idea that he’d have to wait three years before there was another one.
“Part of my job includes overseeing the (Harvey W. Smith) Watercraft Center, which means I’d typically be involved in Wooden Boat Show preparation and, of course, the event itself,” Bennett said. “So I’m really excited to finally have the opportunity to be involved in a show from Day 1.”
The 46th annual Wooden Boat Show, the longest running wooden boat show in the Southeast, will be returning to downtown Beaufort on May 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 2020 and 2021 shows were canceled due to Covid precautions.
“I’m grateful I was able to experience the 2019 show,” Bennett said. “It certainly gives me a good perspective and an idea of what to expect as we prepare for this year’s event, despite the hiatus.”
In addition to the extensive exhibition of classic and modern wooden boats, many favorite activities will also be returning. There will be kids’ activities, an in-water boat show, model boat expo, knot tying demonstrations, book sale, pirate encampment, boating skills virtual trainer, sailboat races, sailboat rides and more. Most activities are located at and around the museum, located at 315 Front Street in downtown Beaufort, and at the watercraft center, which is on Taylors Creek across the street from the museum. The in-water boat show will be down Front Street at Beaufort Waterfront Docks.
“We’ve always had a successful show,” Watercraft Center Manager Grant Caraway said. “It only makes sense that for our return, we’d incorporate those tried-and-true elements.”
Admission and activities are free. Registration is still open for those who would like to display a boat. Registration fee is $35 and includes an event T-shirt and one ticket to the awards party following the show.