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A Wooden Boat Is Building
Dedicated To The Missions Of The New NC Coastal Heritage Association
April 17, 2017

ver by Core Sound, Harkers Island native Heber Guthrie is building a boat. It is a 21 ft Harker’s Island traditional wood cabin boat, outboard driven. Heber Guthrie is the man you may have seen at the Oriental Boat Show (he’ll be here again this year). Heber builds an entire boat (a smaller skiff) in three days during the show. All wood, all traditional boat building technique.

This boat is a bit more involved than the skiff at the boat show. It has a cabin, inboard steering and some simple systems. The boat, named Frances Mae, is being built for a new non-profit. It’s the NC Coastal Heritage Association.

NC Coastal Heritage’s mission is to preserve and document coastal traditions. The boat is the first mission. When the boat is complete, it will travel to schools and functions all across the state as a tangible example of “rack-of-the-eye” boatbuilding (Heber builds his boats by eye, with no plans). She will travel the ICW annually from the Dismal Swamp to Southport with pre-scheduled stops at towns and villages along the way. Residents can board her and examine photo documentation of how she was constructed using methods passed down through centuries. Its travels will include much time in Pamlico County, both in and near Oriental.

Here is Heber at his shop, with the Frances Mae hull in varied stages of construction:

Framing the hull.
Heber and the planked hull after turning the boat over.
NCCHA member Greg Gallagher checks out the cabin.
MV Frances Mae getting closer to launch.

This craft is nearing completion, but Frances Mae needs a little more help before she can be launched. About half of the funds have been raised to purchase an engine (meaning about $4,000 still needed). Consider a donation to the North Carolina Coastal Heritage Association (NCCHA), a 501C-3 nonprofit. Checks can be mailed to:

3325 Hwy. 306
South Grantsboro, NC

You can donate and / or join NCCHA online, at this link.

Donors will be recognized on a plaque mounted in the cabin. You can read more about the boat on the NCCHA web site.

Look for NCCHA at the Oriental Boat Show, April 21-23.

Posted Monday April 17, 2017 by Keith N. Smith

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