"Okoume" is the plantation-grown African hardwood used in tens of thousands of Chesapeake Light Craft's build-your-own-boat kits. OkoumeFest features an open house with technical seminars on Friday at the CLC plant in Annapolis, and on Saturday an on-the-water rendezvous at Matapeake State Park on Kent Island. This event is RAIN OR SHINE. Family-friendly and FREE but RSVP requested.
The Friday seminars are informative and fun, but the highlight of OkoumeFest always comes on Saturday, when we bring virtually everything in our shop over to the beach at Matapeake for our friends to paddle, row, sail, and generally put through their paces. We also encourage fellow boatbuilders to bring their homebuilt watercraft to show and compete for best-in-show honors and various awards.
OkoumeFest is also a special chance to try some of the boats, like PocketShip, we can't usually take on the road with us, and some that are new designs, like the Jimmy Skiff II, Tenderly XP, and the Waterlust Sailing Canoe. Attendance is free on both days this year, but please RSVP so that we can plan for the hordes.
More than 300 people joined us for last year's OkoumeFest, not only to attend boatbuilding seminars or have a test run in one of CLC’s 55 demo boats, but also to show off boats they had built themselves. CLC offers awards to amateur-built boats, many of which took hundreds of hours to build and look like exotic furniture. The event draws small boat aficionados from as far away as New England, Florida, and the west coast.