Set a course for Mystic, Connecticut the weekend prior to the 4th of July—the 26th Annual WoodenBoat Show hosted by WoodenBoat magazine sails back into port here, and promises to be more dynamic than ever. Boat aficionados and craftsmanship fans are coming in droves for a visual/tactile feast featuring the finest in wooden boat design, features and lifestyle.
Mystic Seaport is the ideal location for the annual show. This year’s competitions and activities are not to be missed, and there’s something for everyone, from the novice boat hobbyist to briny enthusiasts. The event also has an excellent reputation of offering interactive experiences for the whole family.
For those interested in the crème de la crème of wooden boats, the Concours d’Élegance is a must-see attraction of the WoodenBoat Show. Sailboats, motor boats and manually powered boats compete for many prestigious awards including Judges’ Choice, Professionally Built and Special Achievement. If you’ve never seen this competition, it’s quite thrilling.
For families seeking friendly competition and boater bonding, the Family BoatBuilding competition is a perennial favorite. Since 1998, the WoodenBoat Show has invited families to enter a three-day boat building competition. Families purchase the supplies to build a boat on day one, and are expected to finish the boat by day two and a half. By day three the goal is to launch the boats into the water for a test row.
Every year the types of boats that families make are different, and this year’s offerings are modern, exciting, and sure to be a hit. There is a Moccasin 14 (a 14-foot canoe offered by B&B Yacht Designs), and a stand-up paddle board by Gentry Custom Boats. Families work for three days from morning to night creating their own custom boat. As family experiences go, there’s nothing like it.
Another consistent favorite for WoodenBoat Show goers is the “I Built It Myself” area on the Village Green, sponsored by Interlux Yacht Finishes. Boat owners are invited to display boats they have built with their own hands. They share stories with attendees about their inspirations, challenges and triumphs. Day-sailers, kayaks, canoes, little row boats, and even ice boats are incredibly unique, and the individual stories are enthralling.
The WoodenBoat Show runs from June 30-July 2. For more information on this year’s show visit TheWoodenBoatShow.com