by Anne Bryant

After a full, nutty day at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, I headed over to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s, Maryland, for the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival. I pulled into the entrance, lined with a tent city full of small boat enthusiasts; I felt right away that compared with the bustle of Annapolis, the change of energy suited my needs.

Here are some photos from my visit there. It was Sunday, the day after the big race and regatta, and so things were packing up, slowing down, and moving on due to a lightly threatening forecast.

Our Fearless Editor, Chris Cunningham, has traveled to this gathering in the past, and we plan to re-establish our connection with this fantastic gathering in 2018. A workshop? A beer social? We’re not sure yet, but get excited.



I also happened by the relaunching and re-christening of BELLE, a Herreshoff 12 1/2-inspired small sailing boat designed and built by Daniel Gonneau. With her more open layout inboard and with no internal ballast, she’s quite different from the design of her keelboat cousin, but no less gorgeous. Her new owner first saw her in the Calendar of Wooden Boats and thought she’d be just the boat for him. When she came up for sale, it was a dream come true for him.



  • Bill Rutherford says:

    Saw you wander in as we were were wandering out. Yes, it is a fun gathering that has been on our kids’ (and now grandkids’) schedule for at least 25 years. Some of the activities: a pre-event overnight to nearby Wye Island State Park, freshly shucked oysters Friday night accompanied by folk music (both professional and amateur), coffee and donuts in the morning, cardboard boat construction and race (short duration), judged boats on exhibit (for a quick hour or so before they hit the water), a nautical craft workshop, a marine watercolor class, kids model building and sailing (in dedicated pool), a log canoe talk in the shipyard, canoe builder demos, a Railbird skiff show-and-tell, rowing and sailing races (lots of different classes), a shanty sing, (before happy hour), dinner and awards under the big tent (lots of ribbons), an evening talk (Graham Byrnes and his boats), star (and moon) gazing after, a nautical swap meet and a treasure hunt (with puzzle map) for the kids. Most of these activities are organized and led by participants with minimal (at least visible) support from museum staff. Come early next year; we’ll get you a ride on a boat (probably wooden). Hope to see you (and others) there. Safe travels, the Rutherfords and Blackwells.

  • kent lewis says:

    OK, if there is a treasure hunt, the Skipper wants to go now. For the kids? I think everyone there is a kid at heart. We want to go next year 🙂

  • Ned Farinholt says:

    Next time you or Chris come to the festival, come over to the nearby Miles River Yacht Club on Friday morning and see the Wye Island Electric Boat Marathon, a 24-mile all-electric boat race from St. Michaels around the Wye Island nature preserve and back. You will see many unique boats.

  • Arthur Haberland says:

    I finally have a boat suitable for the events, so next year I will be attending not just as a visitor, but as part of the festivities. Just look for a slightly beaten up GP14 that looks like it spent 30+ years in a barn, because it has!

    As for the festivities themselves, I have attended the last couple of years, I suggest either camping on the grounds and booking your hotel rooms WAY in advance. The local places sell out fast with everything going on in the area