Port: Whortonsville, NC
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Wooden Boat Show May 2010

02 May 2010 | Whortonsville / Beaufort NC
Lane Kendall
It is said that the amount of fun you can have on a boat is not directly proportional to the length of the boat. In my experience this is absolutely true. Judy and I have owned 4 sailboats (so far) and each one was great fun because it was purchased to fit our needs at the time. Our first was a Chrysler (yes the car company) Man-O-War. She was a 15-foot boat that was designed to be wet wild and fast. She was! We spent many hours sailing her and we still talk about the boat when we remember good times. For a sailing purist, a small boat is a joy because you get the full sensation of the wind and the water, the feel of the tiller and sheet and how the boat responds to even the slightest movement or even weight shift. For me the joy of sailing a little sailboat plus the challenge of building boats adds up to what has become a fascinating pastime, not that I need a pastime.

Two years ago, I became interested in building a Puddle Duck Racer, a very simple box boat that can be built using strictly big-box hardware store materials. Plywood. Two by fours and glue along with some hardware are all that is needed to build the hull, and an inexpensive poly-tarp can be used for the sail. The boat can be built for a nominal fee. The designer's idea is that folks can build this boat and give sailing a try. If they like it they may want to either build a more sea-kindly vessel or buy a ready-made sailboat. If they hate it, they can burn it in the driveway and have a nice weenie roast. A lot of the design of the PDRacer is left to the builder because the specs are fairly loose. I became interested in designing my PDRacer and found that I really enjoyed building her. Puddle Duck Racer Pictures

As soon as I finished I started loking for plans for my second "build". I decided on the "CarTopper", an older design by Phillip Bolger (now deceased). At this writing the boat is not completed but here is a link to the website that I am updating as build the boat. This was meant to be a cold weather project and I have almost run out of cold weather here in Carolina. Progress will be slow as the summer progresses but I will attempt to update the website as work is done. Cartopper Website

Given my interest in little boats and building them, the annual Wooden Boat Show in Beaufort North Carolina is a "must see" event. The show is sponsored by the North Carolina Maritime Museum and local businesses. I attended the show last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. This weekend was the 36th event and I wanted Judy to see it so the plan was laid. This was to be one of those weekends when Southern Star would serve strictly as lodging. There were no sailing activities planned.

Friday April 30, 2010
We left for the coast at 4:30, right after work. The weather was perfect and the forecasters promised more of the same all weekend. We made several stops along the way. It was a pleasant trip but it took a little longer than usual. We arrived a little after 10 pm, unpacked and turned in.

Saturday May 1, 2010
We were up at the usual time. We enjoyed our coffee on deck but we knew we had a bit of a drive ahead if we were to make the boat show while there were still parking places left in town. We left at about 9am. I was thinking we could get form Whortonsville to Beaufort in about an hour but my estimate was off by half. We arrived at about 10:30 but found a great parking space complete with shade tree and park bench at the county office building. We quickly walked the three blocks to Front Street where the boat show was underway.

This boat show is a little different than your standard boat show held in a metropolitan civic center with slick high-pressure salesmen trying to sell you a big Clorox bottle boat. In the first place, there is no admission fee. The typical participant is some one who has built a little wooden boat and is very excited and proud of his work. These guys are eager to tell anyone who will listen exactly how they went about the building process. An aspiring boat builder can gain more knowledge during a 30-minute conversation with these folks than a week's worth of reading or Internet research can yield. If you have any interest in boat building it is a wealth of knowledge and if you are not there is still plenty to do. The museum was giving free boat rides in Taylor creek. The boats they were using are nice looking traditional watercraft built but students and volunteers. The weather was perfect for introducing non-sailors to sailing and traditional boats, which is one of the goals of the boat show. The wind was strong enough to make sailing exciting but not strong enough to be dangerous. All the skippers involved were obviously seasoned veterans judging on how well they handled the little boats loaded with passengers.

We took a break and walked back to the car where we took advantage of the shade tree and park bench to rest and eat the lunch we brought along.

One of the main attractions was a boat building contest sponsored by Atlantic Veneers, a local distributor of quality boat building lumber. The idea is that each team is provided materials and is to build the same boat from the same plan in an eight-hour period. Points are gained for how fast the boat can be completed and how well it does in the race that follows. To me, boat building is more of an art than something that can be reduced to a competition, but it does seem to stir interest in the activity because several high school teams were in the competition. As I stated before, one of the main reasons for the show is to increase interest in traditional boats and building them.

At one point there was a race for traditional small sailboats. I never found out when it started but saw a whole fleet of lovely little wooden boats sailing up and down the creek for several hours. I'm glad I can take digital pictures because, had I been using film, the expense would have been great. Taylor's creek was a sight to behold all afternoon. There were big boats, little boats, powerboats, sailboats and rowboats going back and forth. The whole thing reminded me of a freeway at rush hour. We only saw one mishap, when one of the small boat sailors managed to capsize his boat. As it happened, a Sea-Tow boat was already on scene helping with the rowboat race. He went to the rescue and eased the submerged sailboat over to the sandbar. As soon as the crew was able to touch the bottom they were able to bail the water out and get her back on her feet. The whole episode took less than 45 minutes and the little boat was zipping around in the creek with no apparent damage.

Judy's interest in boat building is not nearly as great as mine, although she hears about it all the time. She did really enjoy the show and even had time to tour all the antique shops in town during my long-winded conversations with the boat builders. If you have any interest in small traditional boats and / or boat building, this is a great event. Judy and I stopped at the famous "Sanitary Seafood Restaurant" in Moorehead City for an early dinner. The food was good but nothing to write home about at 20 bucks each.

The trip back took less time than earlier in the day because the traffic had thinned out. I am sure we could have taken the ferry across the Neuse, but if you have to wait for the ferry more than 15 minutes there is no time savings. When we returned, we headed straight for the showers. The hot shower felt really good after a long day. When we finished showering we joined Joey, Dorothy, Ed and Joyce in the cockpit where they were just finishing dinner. We visited for a while then rigged the ship's theater for a TV episode we had recorded earlier. We slept with the forward hatch open and no screen. The bugs have not arrived yet.

Sunday May 2, 2010
We eased in to our day with coffee on deck. I still had my pajamas on when Brent invited us over for a tour of his new Endeavor 38' Center Cockpit sailboat. Pants in place, we took the tour and were very impressed. The boat is laid out for having company. There are two staterooms one fore and one aft with separate heads. The most impressive thing is the size of the head (bathroom) in the main stateroom. The boat is very nicely appointed with central heat and air and all the creature comforts typically found in a big boat. Brent is obviously enjoying learning about the ship and her systems. This is a very nice vessel and should serve him well in the future. He has never sailed her but Endeavor Yachts have a reputation for being good sailors and my guess is that this one is no exception.

We left at about noon. Judy wanted to stop by the Antique Mall in New Bern to check for furniture bargains. This was a very nice weekend and the boat show was a nice diversion from the everyday stress of work and responsibility. Maybe next year we will take Southern Star and stay at the Beaufort town docks where we will have a bird's eye view of all the activities the event has to offer.
Vessel Name: Southern Star
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 30
Hailing Port: Whortonsville, NC
Southern Star is owned and sailed by Lane and Judy Kendall from Mount Pleasant, NC Southern Star (formerly Sea Breeze II) started her life on Lake Lanier near Atlanta. [...]
1983 Catalina 30 Tall Rig with Bow Sprint
Builder: Catalina Yachts
Designer: Frank Butler

LOA: 29' 11"
LWL: 25'
Beam: 10' 10"
Displacement: 10,300 lbs
Draft: 5'3"
Engine: Universal M-25 21HP
Fuel 18 [...]
Home Page: http://www.svsouthernstar.com
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:188
Southern Star's Photos -

Port: Whortonsville, NC