We are proud to announce that our Southport Wooden Boat Show was selected as the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Festival & Event Winner for the month of November 2020!

14th Annual Southport Wooden Boat Show

Wooden boats and Southport…it’s like the Cape Fear River Pilots guiding a freighter up river, commercial fisherman returning to the Old Yacht Basin with their Brunswick Catch, the Old Smithfield Burying Grounds, hosting NC State’s official 4th of July celebration, the Gentleman Pirate Stede Bonnet careening the Revenge through the Cape Fear inlet, or all the local history on display in Southport’s NC Maritime Museum and Visitor’s Center. All are an integral part of Southport’s heritage and are celebrated each year at the Southport Wooden Boat Show.

The 13th Annual Southport Wooden Boat Show (SWBS) – Quite possibly the best show ever with a record number of boats, vendors, and attendees.

The weather was fantastic and our attendance actually exceeded the estimated 10,000 people of the prior best year! I believe our success was best summed up by an attendee when he said that after being kept away by Covid and then the flood tide of last year, there was a pent up energy to get out in good weather with fun and interesting things to do. You could see the smiles and happiness and laughter all around you at the show.

The 14th Annual Southport Wooden Boat Show will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2023, in and around the historic Old Yacht Basin in Southport, from 10 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Our tradition continues with boats on display On-Land and In-Water with visitors being able to meet and talk with wooden boat makers and owners, and to vote for their favorite boat entrant for the People’s Choice Award. Additionally a team of judges will also award six other prizes.

There is a change in the awards this year in that the President will present them to the individual category winners beginning around 2:00 p.m. so they may be displayed on their boats. The People’s Choice (Best in Show) will be tallied and handed out to the winner at approximately 3:30 p.m., with the Raffle Prize winner’s names drawn immediately afterwards. This change allows the photographer to get pictures of all winners at their vessels as you can see in the 2022 winners tab under Events.

Children Activities will return to this year’s show under the tutelage of the NC Maritime Museum of Southport’s Nauti-Kids program. The little sailors will be able to build (with or without help) their own boats and test their sea-worthiness, to learn rope making, learn to sail in a static display and learn from exhibits by the North Carolina Aquarium and The Ft Fisher Underwater Archeology Branch as part of the day’s activities.

More boats, both in and out of the water, and more nautical/maritime vendors are expected at this year’s show, which has been growing every year. Nautical & maritime demonstrations are planned along the waterfront, and the model boat exhibit will return.

As usual a new collectors’ quality poster will be designed, as well as the special edition T-shirt for this year’s show. Both will be available at the show from the Ship’s Store tent. Once again, there will be many exciting items to be raffled. Read about our expanded food event, A Taste of Cape Fear, featuring a Seafood Chowder, a Shrimp Boil, and Shrimp & Grits made by award winning Frying Pan Restaurant Chef Craig Blanks.

There will be live music throughout the day including the band “Borrowed Time” as well as the roving “Southport Shanty Crew“.

Mission Statement

The Southport Wooden Boat Show’s purpose is to promote interest in and disseminate knowledge of the craft and art of wooden boat construction, to support efforts to preserve wooden boat construction and skills and to celebrate the region’s maritime and boatbuilding history. This is accomplished through the SWBS Event Committee and an exceptional volunteer workforce. The Southport Wooden Boat Show is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. No goods or services are rendered for contributions, and they are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Win this Boat!!

The Southport Wooden Boat Show Committee is once again proud to announce that, through the generous donation of Master Boat Builder Dean Herring, we will be raffling a hand built Iain Oughtred Design called the Tammie Norrie (built by builder Dean himself.)

This beauty is a sail and oar traditional dingy, complete with two pairs of oars, a spritsail that goes up and down via a track, a dagger board with a traditional rudder, 13 foot 6 inch full length with a 4 foot 5 inch beam, weighing in at about 140 pounds sans foils and spars.

Named “Orca”, she was built to plans along with a lapstrake hull kit from Hewes up in Blue Hill Maine. The hull is 1/4 marine ply, the thwarts and gunwale are mahogany. The sole is walnut and she includes a bow and transom seat along with side seats, which are zebra stripped center cut western red cedar, a rare find.

All else is Douglas Fir including the spars. The rudder and daggerboard are beautiful lamination of various hardwoods and the entire package comes with the attached aluminum trailer.

Tickets can be purchased live the day of the show and anytime at the Southport Maritime Museum.