Oxford’s Model Boat Show

Monday, October 31st, 2016 |

Visitors to the Oxford Community Center (OCC) on Saturday, November 12 will have a model day, as OCC’s Model Boat Show returns for its third year. The free event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features 30 model builders from throughout the region, model-making demonstrations and kids’ activities.


This year, the expanded model boat show and sale features model builders sharing their craft and history through an even more diverse selection of model boats, talks and demonstrations. Visitors will enjoy the opportunity to talk with modelers, hear stories and ask questions. Every model boat has a story to tell – learn about the history of original vessels, such as a crab scrape bateau, bugeye, dinky skiff, bar cat, drake tail and more, as well as boat building techniques and maritime culture.

Roughly 30 model builders will display diverse models, including half-hull models of Chesapeake Bay boats and classic yachts; scratch-built models of Tangier Sound workboats; tall ship rigging; early modern sailing ships; a local radio-controlled Laser fleet; workboats and sailing ships from members of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum model sailing club; and ships in bottles and Bay schooners.

Don Willey, from Fruitland, will be among the modelers at the show. Don started building models in 1980, with his first being a four-masted schooner. He has built more than 700 models since, which are included in collections around the world – France, Germany, England, Canada, Mexico and Fiji. All the work Don does is commissioned and there is more than a year’s wait for him to start new work.

“I have been behind ever since I started and I am still behind, about a year, used to be two,” said Don. “But people have seen my work and said they will wait. I have never had anyone dissatisfied, they have always given me great praise. Even personal boats that I have built from old photos, they say it looks just like it and are amazed by the details.”

Don will be bringing models of a skipjack, drake stern workboat, fishing skiff, ducking skiff, buyboat, and a tugboat, as well as doing knot-tying demonstrations.

There will also be an opportunity to visit a local shipwright’s boatshed and see boat building in progress.  Cutts & Case, Inc., the world-renowned wooden boat builders in Oxford, will be hosting an open house providing Model Boat Show visitors behind-the-scenes access to the world of wooden boat building. A short three-minute drive through the historic town of Oxford will bring visitors to Cutts & Case for self-guided tours.

Visitors to OCC will be treated to a “Dock Sale,” which will feature miscellaneous model-making tools, supplies and kits for sale. An expanded kids’ corner provides several hands-on activities, including a chance for children to build their own boat models. New this year, there will be representatives from the Washington Ship Model Society.

Mystery Loves Company bookstore will be on hand with maritime books, art and novelty items for sale. The show boasts things to do for all ages: there will be a kid’s activity area where children can make and race their own models and an ‘I SPY’ scavenger hunt.

The Model Boat Show is sponsored in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council.

For more information on the Model Boat Show, call 410-226-5904, visit www.oxfordcc.org, or like their Facebook page at Oxford Community Center, Inc.