Traditional Boat Building Comes Alive

One of the best places to see Beaufort’s maritime history come to life is at the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center. It’s a working boatbuilding facility that comes alive with the sounds and smells of traditional North Carolina wooden boatbuilding. It truly showcases the art and skill of traditional boat builders. When you walk through the doors and step onto the viewing platform, above the shop floor, you’ll discover it’s a great place to watch the boats take shape, from frame to finished product.

You’ll notice the Watercraft Center also provides a unique opportunity to witness a craft as old as shipbuilding itself taking shape – the construction of wooden model boats. The watercraft center is home to the Carolina Maritime Model Society.

Walk-Ins Welcome

  • The best place to see the boat builders and watch traditional North Carolina boat building is on the observation deck.


Images provided by Hungry Town Tours.

Drive Time
7 min.
Distance from Hotel
2.4 miles
Interior or building with a collection of wooden boats

Locals Recommend

“The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into this boat shop is the smell – the smell of fresh cut wood.  Located across the street from the North Carolina Maritime Museum, the Watercraft Center is not to be missed. And it’s free!”

Where your Outer Banks adventure begins.

Situated on ten acres, the Beaufort Hotel is offers the privacy of a boutique hotel within minutes to some of the best experiences you’ll enjoy on the Southern Outer Banks.

During your stay, discover, experience, and explore Beaufort – named the “Best Small Town for Adventure” in America by USA Today.

The Beaufort Hotel is a private escape that’s close to every kind of adventure you can imagine. We encourage you to explore like a local, as we give you a slice of what it’s like to live here on the Crystal Coast.

Attraction Details

Good to Know

  • Family-Friendly
  • Rainy Day Activity
  • Groups Welcome
  • Free Admission
  • Donations Appreciated
  • Limited Free Parking (at NC Maritime Museum)

Experience Beaufort North Carolina’s Attractions

Discover 300 years of Beaufort’s history and step back in time and experience some amazing local attractions during your stay.