People Throughout Region Visit Coast For Wooden Boat Show

BILOXI (WLOX) --  Ron Werby's grandchildren sat on the bow of his award winning wooden boat. The vessel took home the prize for Best in Show. He hopes they'll enjoy not only their time on the boat, but also hold tight to its rich history.

"The boat was built in Gulfport in 1975, the Miss Arthur. I've owned it since 1985. It's 56 feet, 16 foot beam, and it's got a big diesel engine it," Ron Werby said.

While the wooden boats are pleasing to look at, there's more to them than what meets the eye.

"We started with the wooden boats here on the coast. You started with the sailing, little skiffs that used to oyster, then you had the workhorse of the industry of the seafood industry, was the Biloxi schooners, which we built two replicas," said Robin Krohn-Davis, Executive Director for the Maritime & Seafood History Museum.

Show-goers had the chance to go out on those schooners throughout the weekend, a unique opportunity.

"It's a dying art. There aren't that many wooden boat builders around anywhere in the country even, so you have to be dedicated when you decide to own a wooden boat," Krohn-Davis said.

A lot of time and money go into preservation and upkeep of these boats, but event organizers hope events like this one will keep the history and heritage alive of the boats.

Organizers say this is the 14th year the event has been held.