12th Biennial Woods Hole Model Boat Show Set for this Weekend

WOODS HOLE – The 12th biennial Woods Hole Historical Museum’s Model Boat Show is set to kick off this weekend.

The two-day celebration of small ships will give participants an opportunity to view exquisite workmanship and meet model boat craftsmen from all over New England.

“I think everyone can appreciate the expertise, care and that goes into a well-crafted model boat. It’s funny, what I’ve learned about model boats through this boat show is that there are people who build them through kits and there are people who build them from scratch,” said Laura Reckford of the Woods Hole Historical Museum.  

“It is quite amazing to see the work and craftsmanship that go into these boats, everything from ships in a bottle that we have to these very large boats that we have on display and then we have the ones people race with the remote-powered mechanisms on Eel Pond. That gets to be quite a cutthroat race on Eel Pond.”

Most of the model ships range from 12 inches to 12 feet in length, while some are so small they can fit inside a light bulb. Some vessels are stationary and exhibited inside with others on the water. Some models are powered only by the wind, yet steered by radio control.

The centerpiece of the event is the village-wide array of model boat displays, featuring watercraft of every description: extravagant yachts, sturdy tugs, imposing military vessels, elegant steam-powered boats and everything in between.

The fun stretches outside as well, as radio-controlled model boats will race on the harbor. Model boat kits that can be assembled and launched in a kids’ pool by children will also be available.

Dozens of elaborate model boats will be on display while model boat races highlight the event.

Participants can view the model boats at the Woods Hole Library, the Woods Hole Fire House, the Smith Building and at ticketing locations. For the youngest visitors, toy model boats will be on sale for $5 with a kiddie pool available for sailing them at the museum.

Free scheduled talks will be held on both days. They include:

-Historical Milestones in Model Yachting

Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to noon, John Stoudt, “Little Boat Builder” (PA) and president of the US Vintage Model Yacht Group

On the sport/hobby of model yachting over the years, since 1851: Various key venues, skippers, boats, techniques, developments and processes.

-Designing a Model of the Down Easter, William H. Conner

Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Rob Napier, restorer and researcher of historic vessels for museums including Boston MFA

On interpreting research materials and the thoughts and processes encountered in designing a model of the William H. Conner, a full-rigged merchant sailing ship, Maine-built in 1877.

-“Saint Columba’s Curragh: The challenge of modeling a leather boat”

Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to noon, James Norton, professor (Maine, retired) and maker of small, historic open boat models.

On the challenges of making a 1/24 scale model of the 36-foot leather-covered curragh used by Saint Columba and his monks to travel in exile from Northern Ireland to the island of Iona in Scotland in 563 AD.

-“New Underwater Vehicles developed in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Deep Submergence Lab”

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Molly Curran, mechanical engineer in the Deep Submergence Lab of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Consignment With Dockyard Sales at the Model Boat Show

-“Dock Yard Sales” is the Model Boat Show’s nautical flea market, operating on a consignment basis during the two days of the show. The dock sales are located in the lower level of the Woods Hole Community Hall.

The Woods Hole Model Boat Show takes place on Saturday, April 13 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and on Sunday, April 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“We’ve been very lucky to have beautiful skies the past few years we’ve held this event and we’re hoping for that this weekend,” said Reckford.

Tickets can be purchased at the Woods Hole Historical Museum, the Woods Hole Community Hall, and at the MBL Club. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children aged 12 to 17 and uniformed military members. Children under the age of 12 are admitted for free.

For more information about the boat show, visit WoodsHoleMuseum.org.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center 

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