2024 Big Little Boat Festival Recap: Part 1

Skip to Part 2 and Boatbuilding Awards

The Big Little Boat Festival was held on the Chester River near Centreville, Maryland, on May 18, 2024.

Rain has made appearances at our annual gatherings over the last 25 years, but this made two rainy Festivals in a row. Did it keep away boatbuilders and lovers of small boats? It did not. The moment the warm showers lessened, the Chester River was thick with smallcraft of every description.

Many thanks to EVERYONE who came out to show off boats, try out boats, talk about boats, learn about boats, and build cardboard boats. As for the weather, we are fearless. We will do this again in May 2025!

The first task, of course, was to shift something like 50 demo boats from our Annapolis facility to Conquest Beach. 

A bit of high tide during setup...

Staffers Blaine and Ed mugging in front of a gleaming Rhode Runner. They are unable to outshine the Rhode Runner. 

The crew set up sailing rigs early on Saturday morning.

Russ Jacobsen, Chairman of the Big Little Boat Festival, astride a Chester Yawl on Saturday Morning.

Serial Big Little Boat Festival attendee (and boatbuilding award-winner) Dan Thaler in his MicroBootlegger Sport.

A sloop-rigged Northeaster Dory heads out for a demo. She'll want the weight a little further forward...

CLC's Jay Hockenberry leads an epoxy seminar in the pavilion.

John C. Harris leads a session on the rigging of small boats. He's got participants tugging on four corners of a sail to demonstrate how the sail's draft can be altered.

The rain clears out, seeming to take a lot of the wind with it. PocketShip looks pretty at anchor but the forward-raking mast suggests a need to take up on the shroud turnbuckles...

Beach scene on Saturday morning.

CLC's resident professional rower, Nicky Stimpson, lends guidance to a trial of the Oxford Shell II.

Rigging tweaks on the beach as the breeze fills in.

A well-sailed and well-outfitted Skerry made a welcome appearance on Saturday.

Cardboard boatbuilding!

The delightful chaos of a cardboard boat race. 

Onwards to Part 2 and Boatbuilding Awards