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!

Start making plans for the 2024 show, the first Saturday in November

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 14th Annual Southport Wooden Boat Show was another success with great vendors, outstanding food, unbelievable weather, and a terrific turnout of wooden boats and visitors alike.

Our tradition continued with boats on display both On-Land and In-Water. Visitors met and talked with wooden boat makers and owners, sampled the Taste of Cape Fear delicacies, observed Cape Fear Community College performing live steam bending of wooden boat parts and enjoyed live music.

Various raffle prizes were awarded, including this year’s raffle boat. In addition, there were boat tours of the yacht basin and surrounding areas while children of all ages learned about Southport’s nautical history from the NC Maritime Museum and built their own boats to test their sea-worthiness. We all enjoyed the rope making and static sailing displays while engaging in entertaining and informational discussions and exhibits presented by the North Carolina Aquarium and The Ft Fisher Underwater Archeology Branch.

In 2024, we’re planning for more boats, more nautical/maritime vendors and more people, as we have continued to grow into one of the largest Southport Festivals of the year. And, as has become our tradition, we will feature a new collectors’ quality poster to be designed by a local artist as well as our ever popular, special edition T-shirt. Both will be available at the show from the Ship’s Store tent. As in previous years, we will have live music, many exciting items to be raffled, as well as excellent food provided by award winning Frying Pan Restaurant Chef Craig Blanks.

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 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.

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“.

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.