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International Small Craft Center

Discover a wide array of remarkable vessels from around the world.

About the exhibit:

Explore the diversity of people, cultures, and lifestyles in the International Small Craft Center. The 17,500-square-foot facility showcases 150 boats from the Museum’s world-renowned Small Craft Collection. Throughout human history, boats have been developed in every part of the world, in all shapes and sizes, from all types of materials, and for every imaginable purpose: from exploring uncharted waters to supporting economic survival to recreational use. 

With vessels representing 42 countries, the Center encourages visitors to imagine themselves as part of different cultures and how a boat can embody the values, livelihood, and customs of the people who built and used every one. 

Each boat represents the collective knowledge of a people and has its own story to tell. As you view and learn about each vessel, you become a part of each craft’s life story and significance.

What you’ll experience:

  • Imagine yourself as a fisherman in Africa, Alaska, or Indonesia using a unique fishing boat developed and used by that culture.
  • Learn about the evolution of technology from one of the first hydrofoiling sailboats or a futuristic prototype designed by Volvo Penta engineering students.
  • Picture yourself on the 38-foot mahogany deck of the “Simokon” Chris-Craft yacht!
  • Step up to the viewing platform for a closer look at the sailboats, steam riverboats, and various Indigenous craft.

Explore the Small Craft catalog

Dive deeper into the incredible stories within The Mariners’ Small Craft Collection. Thanks to the generosity of T. Parker Host Jr., this catalog provides dimensions, background, and images for the boats in the International Small Craft Center.

Brown boat
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