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for Boats and boating--Harkers Island
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The Harkers Island work boat, twenty-two feet of low-cost materials, usually powered by a car motor, is a dependable craft able to handle the demands of man and nature. It is also representative of the culture that produced it.
John Guthrie built his first boat in 1930 on Harkers Island. He was twelve. Since then, tradition and experience have created others, and the Guthrie Boat is well known. In 1993, he received a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award for continuing the Harkers Island boatbuilding tradition.
Most Harkers Island boats are fairly small, usually sixteen to thirty feet; they originated as work boats for commercial fishermen. Their design has remained unchanged for decades, and the craftsmen who make them follow no blueprints.
The Jean Dale was crafted by famed Harkers Island boatbuilder Brady Lewis in the 1940s as a commercial workboat. As the fishing industry has declined, few of the old boats remain. Foushee discusses the project to restore the Jean Dale, one of Core Sound's most important fishing boats.