NCCHA 's Presence at Wilmington Boat Show

The Frances Mae, a 21 ft, Core Sound work boat, will become a traveling educational exhibit this fall for the North Carolina Coastal Heritage Association. The Evinrude – BRP USA Corporation sponsored the first major public appearance of this particular project since its completion at the Wilmington Boat Show, September 8 & 9. Bud Belangia of Arapahoe, transportation coordinator for the Frances Mae, is pictured with Evinrude’s Tom Riemann, as they position her first in line by the stage of The Shell at Wilmington’s Port Marina early Thursday morning, September 7.

Built from a combination of juniper and cypress by Hackers Island native Heber Guthrie, it illustrates traditional rack-of-the-eye methods, no formal plans or blue prints. This centuries old technique is rapidly disappearing from coastal landscapes as more and more boats are constructed from fiberglass molds. A decline in the demand for commercial fishing vessels has also impacted on this once thriving industry. The NCCHA will exhibit the vessel in parades and area festivals in addition to making visits to schools and non-profit groups. A program combining photography of its construction and a presentation by Guthrie can be arranged for sponsoring organizations. At the Wilmington Boat Show, tentative plans were made for NCCHA to present a program for Pender County Schools.

Common throughout the fishing industry, fishermen try to use the best technology available for engines that can endure heavy loads and rough waters. The Frances Mae is powered by a G2 Evinrude E-TEC installed by PowerCraft Marine of Oriental, NC. An official launch of the vessel will take place this fall in local waters.

During the boat show, pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow and friends, visited the Evinrude/NCCHA exhibit. Learn more about documenting and preserving coastal heritage; become a member and help; visit Other projects of the organization include assistance with the production of the book Sound People, a speakers bureau, and a series of boatbuilding classes and workshops.

NCCHA Eclipse

In terms of current importance, the following NCCHA story eclipses the eclipse, but to see a 92% eclipse over Core Sound, scroll down.

Important NCCHA Update - Time Sensitive

Though boat construction has occupied an enormous amount of time and resources, that is drawing to a close. NCCHA can begin focusing more on an expanding cultural/heritage education agenda. In the NCCHA charter issued by the NC Secretary of State, the mission of the organization is cultural and heritage education.
There is one more critical need before the boat can fulfill its mission as a traveling educational exhibit, a trailer. It’s first day on stage as an exhibit preserving the fast disappearing wooden boatbuilding industry on our coast will be September 8 at the Wilmington Boat Show; its entry fee is provided by Evinrude. Evinrude donated several thousand dollars in the form of a much discounted version of their newest E-TEC engine. The boat is scheduled to leave for Wilmington on Sept 6. NCCHA was preparing to raise money for a trailer, but was not anticipating the immediate need for one.
The Immediate Trailer Need: The borrowed trailer has to be returned as soon as possible, sooner if we get any tropical weather next week, a possibility depending on development of current activity in Southern Florida A fund-raising campaign has already begun. Bud Belangia has been investigating re-building used ones with the conclusion that a new tandem trailer with trailer brakes is best. Jack Lee of Arapahoe has generously kicked off this campaign with a $500 donation. A ballpark figure for a suitable trailer is $4,500.00
As the boat project comes to fruition, another NCCHA educational program is in the final planning stage. NCCHA will work with Carteret County Schools for Heber to teach a boatbuilding technology/heritage class at DownEast Middle School. This course will span two semesters. Heber, while teaching boatbuilding, explains the history of wooden boatbuilding and its role in the formation of our coastal heritage.
Meanwhile, the writing part of Sound People is taking shape.
Another need: NCCHA, working through Heber, needs a new space for expanded boat building educational opportunities. The shop in Marshallberg which has been available to NCCHA is being re-purposed by its owners. We have been advised to investigate the old school bus garage in Alliance. Please help in this search. It is believed that Heber operating from a very basic building in Pamlico County would generate participation across a broad spectrum of citizens. Long range, a sizeable grant could help acquire permanent facilities.
NCCHA President Barbara Pearson pleads, “Please join the fund-raising effort; Carolyn and Ben have beaten the bushes so much, shrubbery shrivels up when they approach. Getting more people to join will help also! Share this email with potential supporters to help get a trailer to put the boat on the road. On the water will come later.”

Eclipsed on Core Sound

Snapshots at a beach, one of NC's best kept secrets

Quick trip to a beach off the beaten path. A couple of shots grabbed coming and going. A clean beach, more gulls than people. No bath house, no fast food joints, no tourist gift shops, no sharks, no rip current warnings. Just sand and gentle surf.

A cruise ship docks nearby. It traverses the Pamlico Sound but offers no lavish buffets, no live entertainment, no casinos. Also, no known existence of crippling illnesses evolving among passengers, no murder mysteries, no record of half of a honey-mooning couple disappearing overboard.

Road Scholars Presentations

Ben Casey will make 3 presentations based on his research on Eastern NC Waterways this fall. He will share images in a PowerPoint slide show for 3 different non-profit civic organizations. There will be a particular emphasis on his recent work Down East in Core Sound communities, including Harkers Island. . These presentations are sponsored by the NC Humanities Council’s Road Scholars program.
If your non-profit organization would benefit from such a program, visit the NC Humanities Council’s website to learn more and request a presentation. This is a service provided by the Humanities Council; there is no charge to the non-profits.

Frances Mae Update

Few red day markers are left starboard of the NC Coastal Heritage Association’s Frances Mae’s construction before she is ready for the public to view a tangible exhibit of rack-of-the-eye boatbuilding by Harkers Island native, Heber Guthrie.

Arapahoe native Bud Belangia, transportation director for the Frances Mae, looks on as Rusty Daniels and his assistant Chris secure the vessel for its trip to Powercraft Marine. For details, visit…/frances-mae-from-daniels…. Windows have now been installed in the wheelhouse that will honor the memory of the late Congressman Tim Valentine from the real Nashville, in North Carolina, not Tennessee.
Donations purchased the glass. Rusty Daniels donated his labor. He told project coordinator Ben Casey, “Ben, I’m not doing this because I like you.” As Casey reacted with a blank stare, “Rusty made a save by adding, “Oh, I do like you, Ben, but I really like what this organization is doing.” The glass in the windows, ideal for a boat that can experience a degree of rolling and pitching in rough seas, is shatter-proof safety glass, glass that Rusty Daniels custom cut to fit rack-0f-the-eye built windows.
Friends and associates of Tim Valentine, recalling his sense of pride in North Carolina’s heritage and his genuine service to and respect for the common man … a pool of humanity that most assuredly embraces independent commercial fishermen … donated funds to build and equip the pilot house. His name will permanently adorn the captain’s seat at the helm. A plaque in the wheelhouse will highlight how his life of service was an example of Aaron Copeland’s fanfare for the common man.
Outfitting Frances Mae with a powerplant is now underway. A traditional Core Sound workboat, she will be powered by an engine common in American waters, an Evinrude. The Evinrude Corporation and Jeff Schwarzer of Powercraft Marine in Oriental have made it possible for Frances Mae’s old-time construction to be matched with an Evinrude’s state-of-the-art E-TEC G-2, an engine that is an environmental breakthrough for 2-stroke engines. This engine burns less fuel, has high standards for curtailing emissions, and is much quieter than older 2-stroke engines.

Frances Mae makes public debut

Frances Mae, a rack-of-the-eye Core Sound workboat constructed by Harkers Island native Heber Guthrie, made its public debut at the Croaker Festival in Oriental, July 1. She served as the transport vessel for parade Grand Marshalls, two young commercial fishermen, Zack and Keith Bruno, teenage sons of Keith and Marianne Bruno.
Frances Mae will be a teaching tool for the NC Coastal Heritage Association, documenting and preserving a centuries old tradition of Down East Boatbuilding.
Heber Guthrie stood at the soon-to-be helm during the parade. Rusty Daniels of Daniel’s Glass in Alliance will soon be fitting the vessel with safety glass. Frances Mae will leave the glass shop for a short trip to PowerCraft Marine in Oriental where Jeff Schwarzer and Donald Smithwick will install an Evinrude E-TEC G2 engine. The vessel will be ready to begin its mission Fall 2017.
NCCHA thanks Brian Ellenberg, Pamlico County Farm Bureau agent, and his son-in-law for providing ground transportation for Frances Mae in the parade.