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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Boats and talents on show

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The many hours spent cutting, grinding, sanding, molding and wiring will be on display Saturday, April 5, during the 15th annual Cape Fear Community College Boat Show.

Encompassing the two boat building programs the college has to offer, the show will provide an open house for the wooden boat building program and the boat service and manufacturing program.

In addition, CFCC Marine Technology Department Chair Jason Rogers said more than 30 handmade boats and exhibitors would be at the riverfront site between the Hilton Wilmington Riverside and the Coastline Convention Center. The type of exhibitors on site range from custom powerboat manufacturers like Johnson Custom Boats to sailboats and even other handmade watercraft like canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards, Rogers said.

However, the majority of the show is directed toward the students, Rogers said.

“This show not only highlights their work, but it is also the only fundraiser we have every year for student scholarships,” Rogers said. “The proceeds go into an endowed scholarship fund for students based off merit, and we usually make $2,000 to $3,000.”

Now in his second year as the lead wooden boat building program instructor, Mark Bayne was also a member of the program’s inaugural class in 1978. He said his students know the ins and outs of boat building by the year’s end.

“My direction is that in one year we take them from lofting the boat all the way through launching,” Bayne said. “In one year if they get nothing else from the program they have built a wooden boat of some consequence all the way through.”

This year the wooden boat building program is working on a 23-foot Carolina style center console powerboat and a 15-foot Christmas wherry sailboat. Each year a new class builds two new boats and once completed they will be sold to fund the supply budget for the next class.

Working on the hull of the 23-foot center console, student Chris Sargent said CFCC’s boat building program caught his eye in spite of a background in lab technology repair.

“I knew nothing about boats but was able to jump in and not only am I learning about carpentry but I am learning about rigging and a whole bunch of stuff at one time,” Sargent said. “In here things are constantly changing; you are constantly learning something else and it applies to so many other things.”

After his year with the wooden boat building program, Sargent said he would either move to the boat services and manufacturing program or CFCC’s marine tech program.

Boat services and manufacturing instructor John Olsen said those visiting during the boat show would be able to see the  modern boat construction techniques, plumbing, engines, painting and fiberglass molding techniques his students are completing.

The 15th Annual CFCC Boat Show is free and open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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