Our ancestors set out on the open sea in ships. They were after wealth, gold booty, and a chance to settle a distant land far from the prying eyes of John Law. The ships in which they sailed didn’t have a speck of fiberglass. They were wooden boats, and the men who sailed in them were hard-bitten and rowdy! It is in homage to these men and their craft that the picturesque Mystic Seaport hosts the 26th Annual Wooden Boat Show June 30-July 2. Marine Source tells us the show is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. The Seaport is located at 75 Greenmanville Ave, in Mystic, Conn.
What manner of ship lover will enjoy this show? According to the show website, anyone who wishes to gaze upon 100+ beautiful wooden boats lining the docks will get a thrill out of this gathering. The family that builds a boat together is rare, indeed. The wooden boats these families build are more than seaworthy. They are works of art.
More than just a boat-building symposium, the Wooden Boat Show has something for everyone. Known for its Speaker Series the 2017 iteration of the show carries on the tradition. Capt. Bjorn Ahlander will be on hand to recount the challenges of piloting the Dragon Harald Fairhair across the Atlantic. That exciting tale will be told beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.
Later that afternoon Benjamin Mendlowitz will appear to show some of his famous seagoing photographs. His latest volume portrays the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company’s finest vessels.
An exhibition of wooden boats wouldn’t be complete without skills demonstrations. This show includes some of the best blacksmithing and adze-work demos in the industry. Caulking and Viking Boatbuilding demonstrations will also take place.
A highlight of the 2017 Wooden Boat Show will take place every show day at 4 p.m. That’s when tours of the Mayflower II will be led by Whit Perry and Quinton Snedeker from Plimoth Plantation in neighboring Massachusetts. Lovers of wooden boats will remember the Mayflower II as the ship that, 60 years ago, recreated the journey of the original Mayflower.
Tickets to the 2017 Wooden Boat Show range from $18.95-$69 depending on the patron’s age and how many days they would like to attend. Tickets are available on the show ticketing page.