The maritime landscape of North Carolina is truly remarkable. Throughout prehistory, native inhabitants utilized dugout canoes to maintain lines of communication, trade, and relied on the marine environment for subsistence. Ships of exploration and colonial craft of every description plied coastal, sound, and riverine waters. Vessels of piracy, warfare, and commerce led to legendary shipwrecks, heroic rescues, and enduring maritime mysteries. Maritime industries flourished adjacent to and within the resource-rich waters of the Tar Heel State. All this combines to form an incredibly profound maritime heritage, one which only now is beginning to be understood in its broadest context.
To better understand and investigate this maritime heritage, the Carolina Watercraft Atlas was launched in 2022 as a digital repository for maritime watercraft used in the Carolinas. Throughout history, the tremendous variety of ships and boats used in North and South Carolina led to unique maritime traditions that reflect local and regional heritage. The purpose of this site is to serve as a clearinghouse for historical information, imagery, and archaeology related to these traditions.
Walker Hunting Skiff under restoration
Walker Fishing Skiff
Walker Hunting Skiff