We think this is the largest turnout since we began the event in 1999. We had at least 125 people for Friday's seminars and open house at the factory. There were a hundred wooden boats and more than 400 people on the water on Saturday. Thank you SO MUCH for making this such a successful OkoumeFest!

OkoumeFest is Chesapeake Light Craft's annual open house and customer rendezvous. This free event celebrates small wooden boats and the people who build and use them. "Okoume" is the attractive, sustainably-harvested tropical wood from which most small wooden boats are built these days.

Scroll down for the full recap. On-water photos continue on Page 2, and the award-winning boats are on Page 3. I'd like to thank the entire CLC staff, and especially CLC's COO Ed Wigglesworth, Production Manager John Staub, Sales Manager Nicky Stimpson, and Shipping Manager Brian Schmidt for the hard work and long hours required to make OkoumeFest unfold without a hitch.  We couldn't have done it without the volunteers who helped move boats and maintain order. Thanks again to Nick Schade, Joey Schott, and Nicky Stimpson for bringing their talent and knowledge to share. And we are indebted, as always, to the Chesapeake Paddlers Association for their safety boats.

What did YOU think of OkoumeFest?  Let us know, and see you next year!  -John C. Harris

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As always, OkoumeFest began with an open house and free seminars on Friday, May 17th. Boats of all size and description and from all over the country crowded our parking lot.

Thanks to Laszlo for bringing Faering Cruiser #1 to display on Friday!

John leads a crowd on a shop tour, here pausing to watch the big CNC machine do its thing.

Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks drove down from Connecticut to lead a seminar on strip-planking.

Joey Schott of Turning Point Boatworks demonstrated fiberglassing techniques on the hull of a Jimmy Skiff II.

Joey deployed the Tom Sawyer scheme to good effect, getting festival attendees to don gloves and spread epoxy.

CLC Designer Dillon Majoros taught fundamentals of small boat rigging.

Dillon grabbed one of our scale models for his rigging demonstration.

John led a seminar in mast-shaping, using the Jimmy Skiff II's 18-foot spar.

Mark the mast tapers with patterns...

...And start making sawdust!

When the dust settled, Joey taught us about marine varnishing, using a Cocktail Class Racer.

Attendee Bill "Clark" Griswold won the raffle for a seat aboard PocketShip #1 at the Eastport Yacht Club's Friday Night race series. Don't laugh! While nine feet shorter than the next-smallest boat in the race, PocketShip finished the 2018 season right in the middle of the fleet, amongst big, serious racing sailboats!

PocketShip #1 under an impressive spread of canvas while racing Friday evening.

PocketShip may be small, but she's got serious hustle.

Then it was onwards to Saturday and the beach at Matapeake State Park! Click below to continue to Saturday's recap.

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Were you at OkoumeFest 2019? Please let us know what you thought.