Page 13: Preserving wooden boats in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If you stop by Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi you might see some historical wooden boats being built or restored.

We found Shane Sekul, with the Mississippi Maritime Heritage Foundation, and his faithful dog Ollie paddling through history.

"When's the last time you saw an Indian war canoe? Not many people have," said Sekul, as he stood up in a replica of a Native American war canoe.

Sekul said the foundation is dedicated to remembering our rich, coastal history.

"The Foundation is about restoring and preserving wooden boats. We build and restore boats to educate people and let them see things you normally don't see."

Like a boat called the Red Wing. Shane is working on it at Point Cadet Marina.

"The Red wing is a replica of a 40 ft. sharpie schooner. It's an old mail boat that delivered mail in the Florida Keys before there were roads and bridges," Sekul said.

The name Sekul is synonymous with Biloxi's rich seafood heritage. Shane's family has been in the industry for several generations. He's also a potter. Shane said he sees similarities between constructing clay objects of art and building wooden boats.

"Boats are like floating sculptures. It's the reward of starting with nothing, then having a floating vessel."

Sekul prefers to use old, hand tools when working on the boats.

"They've been around for centuries and they still do a great job."

Whether its a decades old schooner or a centuries old Indian canoe, Shane Sekul is dedicated to preserving coastal history.

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