Family Pirate Day

Ahoy Pirates! 

September 27, 2014

The Friends of the Western Carteret Library in partnership with the N.C. Maritime Museum will host a Family Pirate Day at the Western Carteret Library, Saturday, September 27, 10-2 p.m.

Pirates of all ages are invited to enjoy a day of family-friendly festivities. Create a pirate hat, get pirate tattoos, join in a scavenger hunt and learn about the infamous Blackbeard.

“School may have started but the summer fun isn’t over yet,” said Christine Brin, Group and Volunteer Coordinator for the N.C. Maritime Museum. “We are planning exciting activities that include old favorites and some exciting new surprises.”

No registration needed and the events are free.

For more information, call the Western Carteret Library, 393-6500,, or check the special events tab of the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort,, 252-728-7317

Age of Aquarius: A Murder Mystery Dinner

August 29, 2014

Over the last five years the Museum’s annual murder mystery dinner has focused on different museum exhibits and messages.  Since the creation of the NC Maritime Museum in 1975 one of the Museum’s messages has been about environmental stewardship. 

This year’s murder mystery dinner will be taking place in 1969 as locals gather to plan a protest against companies that have been polluting Beaufort’s beloved Taylor’s Creek.  Town officials and locals have begun to discuss the idea of making Beaufort a tourist destination and in order to do that the town needs to pull together to clean up Taylor’s Creek.

Fortunately the CEO of the local business that is chief amongst the polluters, MPW Inc., has agreed to meet with the protestors at the Museum and discuss plans for reducing his company’s pollution.  Along with the CEO we are expecting his wife (a former Hollywood Actress), the chief financial officer of MPW Inc. and one of his children may even be taking a break from all of their recent scandals and making an appearance at the dinner. 

We are hopeful that these talks will go smoothly, despite all the “accidents” that tend to happen at the Museum this time of year.  Visitors are strongly encouraged to dress in their best tie dye and “hippie” wear. 

Tickets on sale NOW!  Contact the Museum store at 252-728-7317 ext. 0 or click HERE to purchase your Murder Mystery Dinner  tickets online.

Space is limited and the dinners have traditionally sold out at least a week prior to the dinner.  

NC Science Festival


March 28-April 13, 2014
The North Carolina Science Festival is a multi-day celebration showcasing science and technology. The Festival highlights the educational, cultural and financial impact of science in our state. Through hands-on activities, science talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits and performances, the Festival engages a wide range of public audiences while inspiring future generations. 
As part of the North Carolina Science Festival the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort will be hosting four programs including Ports and Pilots on March 31, The Astounding Oyster on April 3, Beaufort's Dolphins on April 10 and a field trip to explore the Rachel Carson Reserve on April 11.  Please see the Museum calendar for details on these and other Museum programs.
To learn more about the NC Science Festival and the many programs scheduled for this multi-day celebration visit . 

Wooden Boat Show


The 40th annual Wooden Boat Show will take place on Saturday, May 3, in downtown Beaufort.  Enjoy activities and exhibits on display at the Museum and the Museum’s Watercraft Center.  Admission is free and open to the public.

A variety of small wooden boats will be on display on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Enjoy traditional skills demonstrations and displays, educational activities, historic vessels, boat models, sailboat races at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and sailboat rides from 1-3 p.m.

Free boat rides will also be offered at the Watercraft Center docks (a $5 per person donation is suggested, which will go to the sailing program.)

The Wooden Boat Show weekend opening event on Friday, May 2, includes a reception and live music from 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Those who would like to receive an application to exhibit their boat should contact the Museum at (252) 728-7317 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Contact the Museum for more information, a boat registration form, and tickets to the Friday opening reception or Saturday awards reception.

Boat registration form is available for download here: 

Wooden Boat Show Registration Form


2014 Schedule of Events

Thursday, May 1 

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.                     

“Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, 1718”

North Carolina Maritime Museum with New Artifacts on Exhibit


1 p.m. – 4 p.m.                     

Go Sailing in a Traditional Wooden Boat


Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center


Friday, May 2


9 a.m. – 5 p.m.                     

“Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, 1718”

NC Maritime Museum with New Artifacts on Exhibit


1 p.m. – 4 p.m.                     

Go Sailing in a Traditional Wooden Boat


Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center


11 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.             

Ship-in-Bottles Modeling Demonstration by Jim Goodwin

Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center


5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.          

40th Annual Boat Show Opening Party & Extravaganza

Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center


Saturday, May 3


8 a.m. – 9 a.m.                    

New Boat Launchings

Harvey W. Watercraft Center


8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.             

Registration of Boats

Harvey W. Watercraft Center


9 a.m. – 5 p.m.                    

“Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, 1718”

NC Maritime Museum with New Artifacts on Exhibit


10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.             

Exhibit of Wooden Boats

North Carolina Maritime Museum – Front St. and Parking Lot

Wooden Boat Kids

North Carolina Maritime Museum Front Patio & Breezeway &Under Boat Building Challenge Tent

Sailing Radio-Controlled Model Boats

North Carolina Maritime Museum Front Patio

Carolina Maritime Model Society Ship Model Exhibition

North Carolina Maritime Museum Auditorium

Ship-in-Bottles Modeling Demonstration by Jim Goodwin

Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center

Traditional Sailors’ Crafts Demonstrations

North Carolina Maritime Museum Back Patio and Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center


10 a.m. – 11 a.m.        

Spritsail Race

Taylor’s Creek


11 a.m.                                  

7th Annual Boatbuilding Challenge: Competition Begins

West Boardwalk Parking Lot under Tent


1 p.m. – 3 p.m.                         

Go Sailing in a Traditional Wooden Boat


Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center


3 p.m.                                   

Boatbuilding Challenge: All Saws Stop

West Boardwalk Parking Lot under Tent


3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.               

Boatbuilding Challenge: Judging of Boats

West Boardwalk Parking Lot under Tent


3 p.m.                                    

Sailboat Races

Taylor’s Creek


3:30 p.m.                            

Boatbuilding Challenge: Rowing Races Begin

Taylor’s Creek at the Competition Tent


5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.               

Boatbuilding Challenge & Wooden Boat Show Awards Reception

Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center

Ship in a Bottle Demonstration by Jim Goodwin

Friday, May 2, 2014

11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.                       

1)  Carolina Sharpie  

2)   Schooner Paragon

3)   Topsail schooner Amistad 

12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.                         

1)  Arctic Schooner Bowdoin

2)   Elizabeth II                                                         

1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.                          

1)   Schooner Windfall

2)    Otway Burns’ Snap Dragon    

3)    USCG Eagle                                                   

2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.                           

1)   Blackbeard’s sloop Adventure

2)   Double Topsail Schooner Mercury

 3)   Schooner Anna R. Heidritter (4-masts)                    

3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.                           

1)  Schooner Windfall

2)  Schooner Crissie Wright (3-masts) 

3)  Brig Black Squall                                                         

Friday Evening Reception

5 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.                           

1)   Ketch Good Fortune

(Capt’n Ron White Coastal Ecology Tours)

2)   Capt’n Sinbad’s Meka II   

3)   Blackbeard’s QAR 

6 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.                           

1)   BB’s sloop Adventure  

2)   Pirate Charles Vane’s Brig Ranger  

3)   Schooner Carroll A. Deering  (5-masts)       


Ship in a Bottle Demonstration by Jim Goodwin

Saturday, May 3, 2014

10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.                       

1)  Ocracoke skipjack Wilma Lee  

2)  Schooner Windfall

3)  Arctic Schooner Bowdoin 

11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.                       

1) Otway Burns’ Snap Dragon

2) Jack-ass brig Mercury

3)  Brig Niagara                                                     

12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.                         

1)  John Paul Jones’ sloop Providence                                                                                                                                           

2)  1807 Sloop Hornet ( full ship rig )

1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.                           

1)  Schooner Windfall II 

2)  3-masted barkentine Olive Thurlow   

3)  BB’s QAR

2 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.                           

1)  Carolina Sharpie  

2)  Schooner Virginia Dare (4-masts)   

3)  USCG Eagle 

3 p.m. – 3: 45 p.m.                          

1)  Yacht Puritan (1885 America’s Cup winner)

2)  BB’s sloop Adventure

3)   Pirate Charles Vane’s Brig Ranger               



Brown Bag Gams Return in 2014

brown_bagBrown Bag Gams return to the Museum this Fall!

What the heck is a gam? A gam is defined as a friendly conversation between whalers or to visit with another ship while at sea.

We've designed our Brown Bag Gams to be friendly, informal conversations about North Carolina's rich coastal environment and culture.

So pack a lunch and head to the Museum for an hour for an educational conversation about the place we live!

Brown Bag Gam Schedule (all start at noon)

Nov. 6 - Boat Builders of Down East Carteret County
Nov. 13 - The Seafood Business in Core Sound
Nov. 20 - Maritime Myths and Legends

Dec. 4 - Duck Hunting and Decoy Carving of Down East
Dec. 11 - Sharpies and Spritsails of Carteret County
Dec. 18 - Ship Life and Wildlife

The Gams will continue in 2014:

Five different speakers from the museum’s staff will lead the participants on a number of discussions relating to local maritime history.  The Museum has so many educational resources and the staff is no exception.  They have developed some great programs this year.

The popular luncheon series is set to kick-off on January 9 with an informal discussion about the U.S. Lifesaving Service in North Carolina.

January 9 - U.S. Lifesaving Service in North Carolina
This talk will be led by Associate Museum Curator Benjamin Wunderly.  The small crews of this service, the predecessor to the United States Coast Guard, rescued hundreds of sailors in a time when most people traveled by water.

January 23 - Oil Pressure, Cetaceans and Our Search for Oil
Museum Natural Science Curator Keith Rittmaster will present an informal discussion on whales.  “From hunting whales to seismic exploration, our search for oil in marine environments continues to involve whales in some way or another,” said. Rittmaster. 

February 5 - Whaling in North Carolina
Associate Museum Curator Benjamin Wunderly will talk about the history of whaling activities that took place in North Carolina.  According to Wunderly, “It wasn’t a full time occupation, but when a whale was caught it could bring in some extra income for local fishermen.”  

February 12 - Crystal Coast Love Stories
School & Group Coordinator Christine Brin for an informal discussion about maritime love stories.  “Duels, deathbed confessions and love triangles are all part of Crystal Coast love stories that will be recounted in honor of Valentine’s Day,” said Brin.  She cautions attendees that the museum staff will be handing out “kisses” to everyone who attends.

February 14 - Heart of the Sea, the Story of a Whale's Heart
Museum Natural Science Curator Keith Rittmaster will talk about “Echo” (the Museum’s 33.5-foot long sperm whale skeleton) and his heart. When this adolescent male whale came ashore at Cape Lookout in 2004, his bones and heart were preserved for study and display.  During the process, his heart was sent to the University of Tennessee for plastination.  Participants will have the opportunity to touch and photograph the heart.

February 19 - Piracy on Our Times
Paul E. Fontenoy, Curator of Maritime Research & Technology, will discuss modern day piracy.   This talk examines the growth of modern piracy, its causes and consequences, the efforts of governments and merchant shipping owners to defeat it, and trends for the future. “Piracy has never been eradicated, but there has been a major resurgence over the past 20 years, especially in the Straits of Malacca, the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, and the Bight of Benin in West Africa,” he states.  

February 26 - The Crissie Wright
Maritime archaeologist and historian David Moore will lead an informal discussion on The Crissie Wright.  “With the exception of Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, Crissie Wright is probably the most well-known shipwreck in Carteret County, primarily due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding its loss in 1886,” according to Moore.  This loss prompted many locals to use the phrase during extremely cold weather… “as cold as the night Crissie Wright came ashore.”  This wreck hastened the decision of the Government to build “Life Saving Stations” along the North Carolina Coast. 

The Brown Bag Gams are free and open to the public.  The programs start at 12 Noon.  Advance registration is preferred by calling 252.728.7317. The North Carolina Maritime Museum is located at 315 Front Street, Beaufort. For more information, visit

What's Happening


07.22.2014 09 - 12
SSS: Whales of North Carolina


07.22.2014 09 - 12
SSS: Seashore Life 1


07.22.2014 09 - 12
SSS: Pirates


07.22.2014 09 - 12
SSS: Boats & Models

See the calendar for a complete program list.


Volunteers are needed for the great times at the Maritime Museums. Share your love of history, culture and North Carolina's well-loved coast.  Each Museum offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, from working with children to helping with events.