Powerboat racing exhibit at Calvert Marine Museum will thrill families

BoatRacing1If your kids love flying around the Bay in a powerboat — or dream of doing it — they will probably enjoy the new exhibit at the Calvert Marine Museum, "Thrills and Spills: The Golden Era of Powerboat Racing in Southern Maryland."


History of racing on the bay

The exhibit traces the development, heyday and eventual decline of the sport, which was popular from the 1940s through the early 1980s in Southern Maryland. Kids can check out three examples of powerboats from the era that have been lifted to the mezzanine level and are cantilevered out over the open exhibition hall. There are also photographs showing races in progress, drivers posing with their boats and trophies and the inevitable spills that were a part of every race. There are also videos and the stories of the men and women who made local racing history. Kids can check out the trophies, racing engines, helmets and custom shirts and jackets worn by racers.

"Three years ago we started an intensive effort to document powerboat racing in the region," said Richard Dodds, curator for maritime history. "It was an exciting and vibrant part of community life. We felt strongly that it was important to talk to the people who had experienced powerboat racing firsthand and to capture their stories. ... There are a lot of characters and personalities involved, and their stories, even the unprintable ones, are fascinating."

The exhibit will be open through 2014. Powerboat racing merchandise as well as a book by the same name as the exhibit will be available for sale in the Museum Store. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and new admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and military and $4 for children 5 to 12. Children under 5 are free.