23rd Annual Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival
by Michael the Traveling Nurse - New Hampshire - USA
The 23rd Annual Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival was held October 1st at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The weather was perfect, sunny and mild winds. Well over 200 small craft were present with eager owners and builders willing to share the pleasure of their creations. (pic #1) A family friendly event with several kid oriented events to include the famous Cardboard Boat race. (pic #16 of cardboard boats) as well as help build a boat events.
One of the smallest craft was a lovely purple catboat designed by Phil Bolger with foot steering and an off-center centerboard. The owner whose name escapes me, sorry, had it commissioned for her to fit inside her Honda Civic Hatchback and be loaded by her alone. (pic #4) It sailed well although the owner says it can get into irons easily when coming about.
I had the honor of speaking to Norm Wolfe of Washington, DC owner-builder of Jim Michalak's Normsboat. A design he had commissioned to replace his Bolger designed Dovkie. (pic #5) Norm was very polite and shared a great deal about what he found to be useful in solo boat camp cruising, Thank you Norm. His group sails the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River area as early and as late as ice on the water. Norm was seeking a self rescuing craft, easy to handle solo and powered by wind and oar. He has been quite happy with Normsboat. The forward self draining anchor stowage has proven useful as his hook is often muddy. (pic #8) Also the slot top cabin has been enjoyable with raising and lowering the mast as well as sunny day sailings. (pic #6 and 9) Norm often lowers the mast at anchor and when rowing the craft.
Creative boat building was everywhere in this event. The 1/12th scale Viking Long Boat was quite a sight. (pic #11) And the artistic Bow Art was impressive. (pic #13)
John Harris of Chesapeake Light Craft was there with a wide selection of his kit boats. I have to thank John for the use of his 16.5 Mill Creek. A sweet paddle canoe with a nice leeboard-lug sail options. I suspect something like this may find it's self under my Christmas Tree. My somewhat timid lady friend was greatly reassured by the Mill Creeks stability and she was pleased how easily her inexperienced paddling moved us quite well. I'm sorry my digital camera took a break at this time. So much to see at this event.
I also was pleased to see a Hobie Mirage Drive in action. WOW, that is so amazing. A gentleman built himself a Michalak Toto style canoe and installed it. Easy effort put anybody at hull speed easily. Nobody there could keep up with him, even the racing shells. I only wish Bufflehead was there with it's Mirage Drive to compare.
A nice group of local camp sailors shared a class on Boat Camping with emphasis on Leave No Trace. Wonderful information sharing there. Now we have no reason to bucket it and chuck it for waste disposal.
Michael the Traveling Nurse. currently in New Hampshire for the winter (Brrrr)