Steam bending demonstration

Steam bending demonstration by CFCC students under the direction of Walter Atkins.

What is Steam Bending? Steam bending is a centuries-old process by which steam is used to soften wooden planks so they can then be bent and shaped into the many various parts of a wooden boat. We will employ a traditional wooden steam box to deliver the heat and moisture needed to shape the white oak wooden frames. After being on the steam for an hour the planks are pliable and ready to be set into place. The planks cool down quickly so it’s all hands-on deck to get them fitted into the boat. We are committed to keeping this tradition alive, while also carefully striking a balance between the romance of wooden boat building and the skills needed to work in today’s modern boat building industry.


Boat building demonstration by CFCC students under the direction of Mark Bayne. Learn more about the CFCC Wooden Boat Building Program.

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Duke Energy Maritime Pavilion

The Duke Energy Maritime Pavilion is the Education center of the SWBS. New content is added each year, expanding its depiction of the Region’s Maritime and Boat Building History through displays, banners and videos. The following are featured for this 13th Annual Boat Show:


  • “Shrimping Industry in Southport” banner
  • Banners on display at the NCMM
    • “Early History of the SWBS”;
    • “Wooden Boats in the Cape Fear during the 1800s”
    • “Early Menhaden Fishing Industry in Southport”
  • Models of boats from the Cape Fear Region
  • Nautical paintings and sculpture by Robert Potter
  • Photo display of “Building a Traditional Round-Stern Boat
  • Half Hull display and demonstration
  • Dean Dosher (on his boat Ramona at the In-Water venue) and Robert Potter will be on hand to discuss their work.
  • “Climb Aboard”: Kids can climb into a flat bottom skiff with sail and manipulate lines as if sailing it.

Maritime Tents

  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
  • Ft. Fisher Underwater Archeology Lab
  • Southport Sail and Power Squadron
  • US Coast Guard Auxiliary

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher Outreach Program Exhibit and Hands-on Activities

NC Maritime Museum, Southport:

  • Nauti Kids boat building
  • Squishy Fish
  • Rope making
  • Naval Stores
  • Age of Sail navigation
  • Shipwrecks and archaeology
  • NC Aquarium


Maritime Talks on Marlinspike, Knot tying, Shrimping, and Authors.


Visitors will be able to see the model boat display and collection of books, paintings and photographs of boats from earlier days on the working waterfront. You might even be able to help identify some of the hulls or the boat builders.


Since 1790 it has been customary for shipwrights to fashion a half-model of a ship prior to construction. Handcrafted forms similar to these enabled the builder to study and perfect hull design before a complete set of plans were drawn. These models were not only functional but were often used to adorn the walls of shipyard offices.


Southport Boat Rentals (Captains Robert Frankenfield & Eli Bostic) ½ hour tours, a 15 minute turnaround time, 28 people max, $5 per person (all ages). Special thanks to Captains Frankenfeld and Bostic as they traditionally donate boat ride proceeds to the boat show, helping us remain viable.

Departure Times
10:15 a.m. – First
Break (12:15 – 1:15)
3:30 – Final


The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport is pleased to announce its participation in the Southport Wooden Boat Show. Staff and Volunteers will be onsite at the museum tent to assist little sailors as they build their own wooden boats, and test their sea-worthiness in a safe, adjacent pond. Ted Dingley and Jim Hummer have created wooden hulls to be completed by the Nauti-kids with masts, sails, decals and paint. Bring your kids, it’s free, and it’s fun!


“What kinds of incredible invertebrates are found along North Carolina’s coast? Where do they live? How do they survive? How can we help them? All of these questions, and more, will be answered at the North Carolina Aquarium’s Invertebrate Station during the Southport Wooden Boat Show. Stop by our station and learn all about some of our most interesting and beautiful wildlife!”

The booth will showcase live animals such as hermit crabs, sea stars, anemones, snails, and other sea life that can be found in the waters of North Carolina’s coast. Seashell activities and crafts will also be offered for all ages. Join us as we celebrate the many living treasures found along our coast!”