Classics At City Dock

More Than 30 Vintage Boats To Show Their Colors At Maritime Festival

May 03, 2009|By Susan Gvozdas | Susan Gvozdas,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Lee di Paula likes showing off his 1930, 50-foot mahogany motor yacht, The Duchess. Not only is the classic considered a sweet ride by fellow boaters, he is proud of the restoration work he did since buying it nearly three years ago. Although the yacht was structurally sound, he had to replace its interior.

"This yacht was getting ready to be taken away to the graveyard," Di Paula said.

This weekend's 10th annual Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival, at City Dock in Annapolis, will mark the first time that he and many others will show off their antique and classic boats.

The Antique and Classic Boat Society's Chesapeake chapter will have its largest display this year with more than 30 boats, member Chuck Warner said. The show's highlight will be the Elf, a 30-foot sailboat that was built in 1888 and pioneered offshore yacht cruising five years later, according to the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Another highlight is a 1927 Chris-Craft that has a triple cockpit - one up front, one in the middle and one on the end.

"It's a very unusual design, and you don't see many of them very often," said Rick Franke, who works for the Annapolis Sailing School and is the festival's leader of waterside activities.

The expanded relationship with the boat society is the result of a growing friendship between Warner and Dave Hanson, who is team leader for the festival and a member of the board running the event. Despite the recession, Hanson said he and the board kept the festival going with the help of several key donors and about 100 volunteers.

Tom Stalder, volunteer coordinator, said the festival is important because it teaches people about Annapolis' history of oyster and crab houses as well as its continuing prominence as a sailing center.

"If somebody doesn't do it, people forget," said Stalder, who owns a powerboat that he and his wife, Trudy, take on regular trips around the bay. "It means maintaining our heritage."

The festival evolved from events held when the 1998 Whitbread sailing race - later renamed the Volvo Ocean Race - made a stop in Annapolis.

The festival is meant to be a celebration of the Chesapeake Bay, focusing on education, entertainment and stewardship of the area's maritime heritage, according to the festival Web site. The festival is run by a subsidiary of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce.

There will be a variety of events free and open to the public.

Annapolis Community Boating and Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating will offer free sailboat rides. The National Sailing Hall of Fame will present the Pride of Baltimore II, a replica of an 1812 clipper ship, and the Manitou yacht, known as President John F. Kennedy's sailing White House. The Kent Narrows Racing Association will have several types of high-speed hydroplanes on display and allow children to sit in the cockpit for photos.

"We love to do that - put them in there and give them a thrill," said Warner, who is also a member of the racing association.

The Annapolis Maritime Museum will have a five-foot model of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse on display as well as a skipjack and work boat.

The festival also will feature a newly expanded "Eco Alley" that will focus on preserving the health of the bay and the environment. The City Dock inlet is commonly referred to as Ego Alley.

The grassroots Annapolis Green Organization, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other groups will have informational booths and help recycle packaging and other waste.

Kids can study the health of the bay and its creatures, too, at the Wetlands on Wheels exhibit at City Dock. Children also can race through an obstacle course in the Boating Olympics, go on a scavenger hunt, get fake tattoos and play in an inflatable Buccaneer moon bounce. Artworks Studio will teach kids how to make boating arts and crafts.

The festival will close with the opening ceremonies for the J/24 World Championship Regatta, which begins Monday at the Annapolis Yacht Club. Representatives from more than a dozen countries will parade through town with their countries' flags to City Dock.

if you go

The Maryland Maritime Heritage Festival will take place this weekend from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at City Dock in Annapolis. Visitors are encouraged to park at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for a $5 fee and take a shuttle downtown.

Here is a schedule of events:

Saturday: At Susan B. Campbell Park Stage on historic Annapolis Harbor

11 a.m. Chesapeake Steel Band

Noon Broadway in Concert: Highlights from South Pacific

12:10 p.m. Boating Olympics (family area)

1 p.m. Letter of Marque performs

1:10 p.m. Family Scavenger Hunt (family area)

2 p.m. Calico Jack performs

3 p.m. Letter of Marque performs

4 p.m. Tiki Barbarians performs

4:10 p.m. Small Craft Advisory Zone (family area)

6 p.m. Them Eastport Oyster Boys


11 a.m. Ship's Company Chanteymen performs

Noon Pirate Pet Parade

1 p.m. George Fox Middle School Ukulele Ensemble and Select Chorus

1:10 p.m. Small Craft Advisory Zone

2 p.m. Calico Jack performs

3 p.m. Chester River Runoff performs

4 p.m. J/24 World Championship Regatta Opening Ceremony

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