Celebrate the Small Craft at Big Little Boat Festival

The annual celebration of boats powered by wind and humans moves to the Eastern Shore this weekend. The annual Big Little Boat Festival hosted by Chesapeake Light Craft sets up on Conquest Beach on a 758-acre preserve between the Chester and Corsica rivers Saturday, May 13. 

The company known for boat-building kits will once again have its rowing, sailing and paddling fleet available for on-water demos. This event has run every year in various forms since 1999 and is considered a rendezvous for the legions of amateurs and professionals who have built boats from CLC’s plans and kits. This family-friendly festival features activities on the water and on shore. There are skills seminars and demonstrations; cardboard boatbuilding and racing for youngsters; and the popular “Best in Show” judging of home-built wooden boats brought by festival-goers.

The beach has easy access for small boats on dollies and plenty of shade on shore. The facility includes two bath houses with showers, plenty of parking, and, best of all, the view of the river is amazing. The event is free and open to the public. 

Grab a bite to eat at the on-site food truck, or bring a picnic lunch. Leave pets and alcohol at home.On-site camping is available on Friday and Saturday nights. Click here to register for camping.  

Guest are encouraged to bring their own paddles and life jackets (but CLC will have gear available to borrow). If you are trailering a larger craft like PocketShip, please use the Centreville Boat Ramp (purchase permit in advance).

  • Kids’ Cardboard Boat Building & Racing: 1pm
  • Boatbuilding Contest Awards: 4pm 
  • GPS Directions:  500 Conquest Beach Rd, Centreville, MD 21617