34th Georgetown Wooden Boat Show to set sail October 21 and 22

16 Oct

34th Georgetown Wooden Boat Show to set sail October 21 and 22

South Carolina ‘s Hammock Coast® is once again gearing up for the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show.

The show is one of the most popular fall events in the area and features more than 100 classic wooden boats and events that include the Wooden Boat Challenge and a Corrugated Boat Regatta. This year, a new event has been added — The Nauti Dog Parade.

The 34th annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show is a free event, will be held Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22, on Front Street in downtown Georgetown. Organized by the Harbor Historical Association, it also includes children’s model boatbuilding, knot tying, maritime arts and crafts, food, and live music. Proceeds benefit the South Carolina Maritime Museum in Georgetown.

Members of the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show event committee – Hope McFaddin, director of the South Carolina Maritime Museum and board members Susan Davis and Johnny Weaver – said they’re thrilled to be hosting the 34th annual event this year.

“We are excited to welcome old friends and new to the 34th Annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show,” McFaddin said. “As the largest fundraiser for the South Carolina Maritime Museum, the Wooden Boat Show encompasses some of the maritime heritage that we share with locals and visitors every day at our museum.”

Davis agreed.

“Not only is it critical as the fundamental fundraiser for our museum, but it is also a premier opportunity to highlight the city of Georgetown and our surrounding Lowcountry region,” Davis said. “It is very important to us that it brings people to Georgetown to support and showcase our businesses and other nonprofits.”

Weaver said the show was originally organized to bring business to Georgetown.

“It still gets better every year,” Weaver said. “We feel that the show this year will be better than any before, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again.”

Main events

The two main events during the Wooden Boat Show are the Wooden Boat Challenge, held on Saturday, Oct. 21, and the Corrugated Boat Regatta, held on Sunday, Oct. 22. Both events involve teams working together to build, and then race, a boat.

In the Wooden Boat Challenge, teams of two work to build a 12-foot wooden rowing skiff called the Carolina Bateau with a time limit of four hours, from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Then they test their boats for seaworthiness, at 5 p.m., in a rowing relay on the Sampit River. The teams are judged on construction speed, quality of work, and rowing speed. Cash prizes are awarded to first-, second-, and third-place winners.

The Corrugated Boat Regatta features larger groups working to build a boat made entirely out of corrugated cardboard. No other construction materials are allowed, except for tape, waterproofing, and corrugated oars to propel the craft. No wood, no metal, no motors—just corrugated cardboard and, of course, imagination. Boat building and display are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the race starts at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Boats range from simple rafts to stunning ships, and they must be able to float on the Sampit River. For those that cannot, there is a Titanic Award for the team that has the most dramatic sinking. Other awards include the Pride of the Fleet Award, given to the boat that best combines innovative engineering with artistic design, and a Team Pride Award for the team with the greatest spirit and crowd involvement.

“We have something for craftsmen, artisans, boat lovers, and the like,” McFaddin said. “The support we receive from local families and businesses make it possible for us to be one of the most popular events in the area.” 

Organizers are excited about a new event for this year’s festival: one that stars furry and fabulous canines. The Nauti Dog Parade will take place on Front Street Sunday, Oct. 22, at 12:30 p.m. during the Wooden Boat Show. Dogs must dress in their finest nautical garb (extra points for owners who do the same!).

Participants will gather at Constitution Park adjacent to Orange St. at noon. Parade will start at 12:30 from the park and end at the Main Stage near Broad St. All dogs (and their humans) must be registered to participate, and leashes on dogs are required.

Categories include: Dinghy (small dogs); Runabout (medium dogs); and Yacht (large dogs).

Prizes awarded for: “Naughtiest Dog” (best-of in each category; “Best Crew” – best dog and his/her owner; “Tadpoles” – puppies under nine months; “Salty Dogs” – dogs over 10 years old; and “Sail Me Home” – most adoptable.

There is a $5 per dog entry fee. To register your Nauti Dog, click here.

For a complete list of events, click here.

The Wooden Boat Show is one of the most popular events in Georgetown County. The county’s charm and Southern hospitality earned it the nickname of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. Adventure and relaxation blend together in perfect harmony, like the flowing and ebbing of waves on the county’s famed beaches. With six communities – Garden CityMurrells InletLitchfield BeachPawleys IslandGeorgetown and Andrews – comprising the pristine coastal area between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, visitors can experience South Carolina’s Hammock Coast like never before.

Georgetown and the coastal communities offer an abundance of accommodations for guests, including vacation rental properties, hotels and cozy bed and breakfasts. Georgetown marinas welcome boaters from around the globe. The beach communities of the Hammock Coast — only minutes from historic Georgetown — offer beachfront homes, condos and more for those who want to expand their stay beyond the tournament.

For more information about the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, visit the event website at, or call the South Carolina Maritime Museum at 843-520-0111.

By Clayton Stairs/tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

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