Billy Creel Memorial Gulf Coast Wooden & Classic Boat Show May 17-18 2014

Bout TimeThere is just nothing sexier than a man putting a sharp-edged plane to a fresh piece of wood and carefully curling away layers just the way it has been done for hundreds of years. Here in Biloxi, wooden boat builders span generations and are revered as true craftsmen.
The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum will be showcasing and lauding these artisans and their unique abilities from May 17th and 18th when the Billy Creel Memorial Gulf Coast Wooden & Classic Boat Show is presented at the Schooner Pier Complex on Hwy 90 in Biloxi.
The Saturday opening will be at 10 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. On Sunday, the doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Visitors will be able to see antique wooden boats as well as classic and contemporary water crafts. Parking is free and admission is only $5 for adults and $3 for students age 13 to 18. Kids 12 and under are free.
You will have the chance to board the “Glenn L. Swetman”, a 68’ two-masted Biloxi Schooner or the “Mike Sekul” when they run every hour on the hour both days of the show. A special rate of only $10 per person has been set up for the two day event with children 4 and under free.
Over 45 boats have registered to be part of this spectacular gathering and if you have a wooden boat that you would like to register then you still have time. All you have to do is visit http://www.maritimemuseum.org or email schooner@maritimemuseum.org to get the details.
Executive Director, Robin Krohn-David, has been with the museum for 26 years and looks forward each year to seeing all the new boats that show up at this annual event. “The Joe Scholtes catboat “Fat Cat” has been restored by Buddy Jumonville of Biloxi and will be sailing during the event. Also, the owners of the “Dolores Catherine”, a 1936 lugger from Biloxi, have donated the original wheelhouse to the museum. You can thank Jackie Jack Covacevich for the wonders of the wheelhouse when it is unveiled at the museum later this summer”, Krohn-David said.
The proud legacy of boat building in Biloxi belongs to many families with names like, Taltavull, Fountain, Moran, Baker, Lebatard and Gorenflo among others. You will be able to see how boat builders like these used hand tools to painstakingly mortise edges, join miles of seams and carve intricate details as they made their works of art come to life.
Featured boats registered for the show include a 1929 42’ Biloxi Lugger the “Queen B” built by Covacevich hands. The oldest boat you are likely to see is a 1912 one-lunger that measures 14’.
The Pan American Clipper is celebrating its 77th birthday this year. It was built in 1937 by John Toche, Sr. as a 65’ Biloxi Excursion boat and will be set up to be toured.
Among the numerous exhibitors with their wares for sale will be an interesting booth sponsored by the museum called the Marine Flea Market. Items at this booth are marine related and have been donated to the museum. Anyone with items they would like to donate may bring them to the museum office before May 15th.
What is one thing that folks in Biloxi know how to make other than boats? Its great seafood dishes! Fresh fried fish and shrimp plates, jambalaya, hot dogs and hamburgers will be for sale as well as arts and crafts. Model boats will be exhibited and live music from Hank Beruman at noon each day will make you want to get up and dance.
There will be a cast net throwing contest for adults (and one for kids too) with prizes awarded! There will be something for everyone at the Billy Creel Memorial Gulf Coast Wooden & Classic Boat Show.
“Sea” you there, Cher!!!

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