How will you be spending this Father’s Day weekend? The Buffalo State Maritime Center planned boatbuilding at the Commercial Slip on the city’s waterfront this Saturday and Sunday. For $400, participants receive construction supplies and, with the help of instructors, construct a 15-foot plywood canoe they can take home and enjoy later.
Walter Manalio, the center’s facilities manager, said the Maritime Center provides many opportunities like these for people to learn the craft of boatbuilding. “People love to build boats and love to see boats built,” he said.
Besides hosting boatbuilding events, the Maritime Center also serves as a museum of Buffalo’s rich maritime history. From the earliest canoes to its canal systems to majestic yachts, the region possesses an interesting maritime history, which is on display at the Historic Boat Museum. The museum has more than 25 boats on display, including everything from a 1930s Penn Yan dinghy to a 25-foot racing boat.
Located at 901 Fuhrmann Boulevard, the Maritime Center is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:30AM to 6PM, and Saturdays from 8AM to noon. The center’s collection of historic boats is ever-increasing as it’s also largest historic restoration shop in the state. Students and volunteers work together with faculty and craftsmen to restore or create replicas of boats from Great Lakes history. The Maritime Center is also the site of community boatbuilding projects as well.
The Father’s Day weekend boatbuilding event took place from 9AM to 4PM Saturday, with the same hours again today. Prior registration was needed to participate, but Manalio encourages people to come out still and watch. For more information about the Maritime Center or to schedule a museum tour, please call 716.878.6532.