2018 Award Winners


Just 19 days until the 29th Annual GWBS!

Georgetown was very lucky to have been spared from Hurricane Florence and the subsequent flooding that our neighbors and friends experienced north of us.  Now that the threat of significant flooding is over, Front Street shops and restaurants are reopening and the Wooden Boat Show crew is moving full steam ahead with preparations for this year's show. Look for our sponsor board to go up this week. 

We have been updating the Wooden Boat Show Facebook page daily, so be sure to check out all the news at facebook.com/GeorgetownWoodenBoatShow/




29th Annual Wooden Boat Show Featured Artist: Cathy Lumpkin

Cathy Lumpkin has advice to give about painting: It’s never too late to start.

They’re sage words from a woman who began to paint her oil-on-canvas pieces at age 50, and whose art is now featured on the 2018 Georgetown Wooden Boat Show poster. Her painting depicts a colorful and impressionistic recreation of a photo taken during the show’s popular (and often hilarious) boat race, when teams of two each receive identical materials and time spans to build wooden water crafts, and then race them on the Sampit River.

While at work for her job with Coastal Eye Group as an ophthalmologic nurse, Cathy heard her coworkers talking about the boat races. She had just learned she was receiving the honor of being a boat show poster artist, and was pondering what to paint.

“Looking back at the art [from previous years’ posters], there were a lot of the older boats. But everybody, whether they were interested in old boats or not, or even interested in the Wooden Boat Show, loved the boat races, because they are fun and people are screaming and children are screaming and people are falling in the water. It was just this great American fun pastime – all these people were together doing something fun and silly. It is such a part of Americana, with the flags flying and so much color and movement.”

Her attraction to such an event is inevitable, since a Lowcountry perspective on Americana is where Cathy’s artistic efforts have focused these past 12 years since she started painting. The granddaughter of an architect and daughter of a college art major, the Darlington native always wanted to paint.

“When I turned 50 I decided it was now or never,” she said on a late spring afternoon in a quiet corner of the South Carolina Maritime Museum on Front Street in Georgetown.

Cathy majored in nursing at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, then went on to anesthesia school at Richland Memorial Hospital. She met an attorney from Georgetown named Bob Lumpkin, whom she married. The couple settled into Estherville Plantation, an 18th-century rice plantation on the banks of the Sampit River.

Cathy’s good friend, Angela Tiller, is a previous boat show poster artist, and she encouraged Cathy to take art lessons. It was frustrating at first.

She took lessons from Jef Sturm, another previous boat show artist, who requires his new students to paint eggs, “to get your values right.” Cathy worked during the day, took lessons at night and for the first three months went home discouraged about her eggs.

But she did not give up, and she discovered that, “If you practice enough, take enough lessons, just really pursue it, I think art is something anybody can do.” Even now, with her artwork fetching sales, Cathy continues taking lessons with Elizabeth Bronson in McClellanville, saying she still has much to learn.

From early on, her art was “all about Lowcountry.” She enjoys painting oysters and fishermen and sweetgrass basket weavers and shrimp pickers.

“I’m just drawn to oystermen,” she says. “I’m drawn to the beauty and the simple things of the Lowcountry and the history of it, and the beach. But for some reason oysters seem to be my focus. The older people of this area, the crabbers and the fishermen, are mostly what I’ve painted lately.”

A few of her works are at Rice Birds gift shop, and sometimes she puts pieces at Black Mingo. Most of her art is sold during the annual Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church plantation tours, when proceeds are donated to local charities.

Cathy isn’t retired – she still works at Coastal Eye Group – and at home her studio is in a former butler’s room at the old plantation house. One day she might paint a slave descendant from South Island, and another day she could be inspired to paint old rice trunks, cast nets, a spottail that her husband caught or a big bowl of freshly caught crabs.

“Art teaches you to see the beauty in the simple things,” she says. “I encourage everybody to try or get involved in anything they want to do in their 50s, 60s or whenever. It’s not too late, and it opens such a different world to yourself, with a different group of friends and a different passion.”

Cathy Lumpkin’s original art will be auctioned at this year’s GOAT ISLAND REGATTA, held on Friday night before the Boat Show.

Posters featuring the piece will be available for sale for $20 at the museum starting on August 24, 2018.


Southeast Tourism Society Selects Georgetown Wooden Boat Show as an ‘STS Top 20 Event’

Travel industry organization has saluted region’s best events since 1985

ATLANTA, Ga. – Southeast Tourism Society has named the 29th Annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show as one of the STS Top 20 Events in the Southeast for October 2018.

This year’s Wooden Boat Show will be held on October 20 and 21, 2018 in historic Georgetown, SC. The STS Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985. Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published on two websites: Southeast Tourism Society and Travel Media Press Room.

The Georgetown Wooden Boat Show – always held on the third weekend in October – features one of the Southeast’s best wooden boat exhibits with more than 140 classic wooden boats displayed on land and water, children’s model boat building, knot tying, maritime art and crafts, food and music. A special attraction is the Wooden Boat Challenge when teams of two race to build a rowing skiff within a 4-hour time limit and then test their boats for seaworthiness. All events take place on the waterfront and along Front Street in Historic Downtown Georgetown. The Show is produced by the Harbor Historical Association, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, with proceeds benefiting the South Carolina Maritime Museum.

“The Southeast is home to unique and memorable events throughout the year. In spotlighting the Top 20 festivals and events each month, STS is not only giving these events the recognition they deserve but we’re also creating a quick reference guide to some of the best festivals in the Southeast,” said Bill Har              dman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society. “These events are important to the economic vitality of our communities and this is a way for us to acknowledge the time and resources organizers have tirelessly spent to create memories for their attendees.”

Events considered for the STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000.  The online nomination link and submission deadlines are available at SoutheastTourism.org or by calling 770-542-1523.

STS, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism to and within 12 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Name: Sally Swineford
Email:  boats@woodenboatshow.com
Phone:  843-340-3879

Featured Artist for 2017 is Jef Sturm

A love for and mastery of landscapes and light shine through in the 2017 Georgetown Wooden Boat Show painting by this year’s artist, Jef Sturm.

Anyone who has seen the shrimp boats in the Tom Hanks movie “Forrest Gump” will recognize the historic era from which this year’s featured boat was launched. The Prodigal Son, a familiar sight in Georgetown Harbor and Winyah Bay with Captain Ronnie Campbell at the helm, is typical of wooden shrimp boats from about 50 years ago except for one major deviation: Its rigging was removed.

“The Prodigal Son was built in ’48, and it was a small shrimper,” Sturm said. “It did what it did. Ronnie’s gotten ahold of it and he’s taken all the rigging and stuff off of it, and he’s more or less refurbished it. It’s a beautiful boat.”

Sturm depicted the white wooden boat on a sunny and placid part of Winyah Bay where dashes of color in the paint and wood are reflected from a fair weather sky. The artist used setting and light to evoke a sensible and humbly elegant personality for the vessel.


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2016 Winners

You can view our 2016 award winners here as we enter them into Google docs. We will be updating this document throughout the day.

2016 Award Winners

The Show will go on!

Electricity, internet, phone service, and cable TV have been restored to us in downtown Georgetown.

This boat show is happening! Please go to our facebook page for photos and updates:


Exhibitors go here for set-up instructions:

See you on Front Street this weekend!


Wooden Boat Show to host Cardboard Boat Regatta

It may be the Wooden Boat Show, but, as the old saying goes, “whatever floats your boat.”

For the 26th annual show, set for Oct. 15 and 16, a new signature event will be the Cardboard Boat Regatta. It will be part of the “Sunday At The Show” event on Oct. 16.

Families, businesses, schools, youth groups, friends, and nonprofits are invited to design and build a boat made entirely of corrugated box material. The sky’s the limit. Use your imagination (or the Internet) to create a vessel that can range from a simple sailing craft to a stunning ship or a rubber ducky.

The Pride of the Fleet will be awarded to the vessel with the most innovative engineering and artistic design; Team Spirit to the group with the most out- standing theme, team participation and crowd support; and the Titanic ribbon to the vessel and team with the most dramatic sinking.

Don’t miss this opportunity to challenge your friends and coworkers.

The boats need to be at the show by Sunday morning (Oct. 16) at 10 a.m. for display in the challenge tent.

After this preview by the public, the boats will be launched into the Sampit River at 1:30 p.m. One to two sailors will navigate by paddling the vessel to a designated buoy and back to qualify for the awards.

For more information or to register, go https://woodenboatshow.com/cardboard-boat-regatta/ or contact Susan Davis at 843-325-1800 or sndavis05@gmail.com.

Corrugated box material will also be available by donation from International Paper. If you are interested in using this material, contact Davis to arrange a pick-up time.

2016 GWBS Featured Artist Judy Maring

Last Trip of the Day

(This is an excerpt from the original article. Click Here for Full Article)

Judy Maring says she was honored and humbled when asked to be the 2016 Wooden Boat Show poster artist, and she visited the Maritime Museum for subject inspiration. Information about steamboats caught her eye, because she didn’t know the Georgetown area had steamboats.

She settled on the Governor Safford, which was a sidewheeler built in 1884 in Camden, New Jersey. Its paddle wheel was on the side to make it easier to turn around in narrow rivers.

“Last Trip of the Day” shows the Governor Safford chugging briskly along the Waccamaw River late in the afternoon, on its last trip of the day, headed to Hagley Landing. Passengers are on two deck levels enjoying the breeze, and smoke billows thickly from a central stack.

2016 Wooden Boat Show posters will be available for purchase at the museum for $20 starting on August 18, 2016  when the original painting will be unveiled. The painting will be auctioned off on Friday, October 14, 2016  at the Goat Island Yacht Club Regatta.

It's the 27th Annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show!

27th Annual Wooden Boat Show, Georgetown, SC
October 15 and 16, 2016
Contact: Sally Swineford 843-340-3879
Email: boats@dev.woodenboatshow.com

Georgetown Wooden Boat Show October 15 and 16

The Harbor Historical Association of Georgetown will present the 27th Annual Wooden Boat Show on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16, 2016. This year's show, which has no admission fee, will feature one of the nation's best wooden boat exhibits, a wooden boatbuilding competition, children's model boatbuilding, knot tying, maritime art & crafts, food, and music. New for this year is a Cardboard Boat Regatta to be held on Sunday afternoon.

All events will take place on the waterfront and along Front Street in Historic downtown Georgetown. Money raised through sales and donations will benefit the South Carolina Maritime Museum, also located on Front Street in Georgetown.

The Southeast Tourism Society has selected the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast for October.

Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
More than 140 classic wooden boats will be displayed in the water and along Front Street. Vessels ranging in sizes from kayaks to cruising yachts will be exhibited in categories including: row, canoe, kayak, surfboard, sail, inboard power, outboard power, owner designed and built, century class (100 years or older), model boats and “classic” categories for boats that are aged 50 years or older. Visitors will be able to meet and talk to wooden boat craftsmen, manufacturers, and owners. Maritime art & crafts will also be on display.

The Wooden Boat Challenge will begin at noon under the big tent on Broad Street. Two-person teams will race to build a rowing skiff within a four-hour time limit. At 5 p.m. the competitors will test their completed skiffs for seaworthiness in a rowing relay across the Sampit River. The teams will be scored on speed of construction, quality of work and rowing speed. Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place winners.

At 7 p.m. an awards ceremony and banquet will be held for boat exhibitors, boatbuilding competitors, sponsors and guests. Prizes will be presented to the winners in each of the exhibit categories as well as the People's Choice Grand Award winner, to the Six Knot Challenge winner, and to the winning Wooden Boat Challenge competitors.

Sunday, October 16, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
In addition to the wooden boat and commercial exhibits, family activities will include an Opti Pram regatta featuring the SC Youth Sailing program’s fleet of wooden Optis, knot tying with Dan the Knot Man and kid’s model boat building. 

A new event for Sunday will be the First Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta. Visitors can preview the cardboard boats from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. under the big tent on Broad Street. The Regatta will begin at 1:30 p.m. when the cardboard boats are launched on the Sampit River from the floating docks at Francis Marion Park.  The Pride of the Fleet Award will be given to the boat that best combines innovative engineering with artistic design, while the Team Pride Award will go to the team with the greatest spirit and crowd involvement. The Titanic Award will be presented to the boat with the most dramatic sinking.

The Georgetown Wooden Boat Show is produced by the Harbor Historical Association, a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization. For more information, to register a boat for exhibit or to sponsor this event contact Georgetown Wooden Boat Show, PO Box 2228, Georgetown, SC, 29442; or send an email to boats@dev.woodenboatshow.com. Visit the website at www.dev.woodenboatshow.com.