Big boats, big adventures

by Shannon Rae Gentry
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lumina News file photo 

Guests tour 10 yachts at MarineMax on Oct. 22, 2011 during YachtVenture, a fundraiser for the Children’s Museum of Wilmington

The Children’s Museum of Wilmington strives to “stimulate children’s imagination, curiosity and love of learning.” For the second year, the museum is inviting adults to help support this mission, while stimulating their own need for fun and adventure during YachtVenture.

Children’s Museum board member Harriett Loweth is looking forward to another special evening on the water. 

“There’s a saying, ‘You don’t have to be a child to enjoy big boats,’” she said. “That’s the sense of adventure of this one evening for adults.”

Loweth has been a CMOW volunteer for years. YachtVenture was her brainchild after she was charged with developing a new fundraiser for the organization. 

“I did a lot of research of what other people were doing in other places and recommended several ideas, including YachtVenture,” she said. “And the minute I got to that one, everyone said, ‘That’s it.’”

Though it did not strive for a black-tie affair, YachtVenture is upscale for people looking for an elegant outdoor outing. 

“The appeal of the event was that Wilmington has the waterways … and a majority of people look at these boats but never get to go on them,” Loweth said. “YachtVenture offers people the opportunity to dream a little bit, but in a different way.”

For many, YachtVenture is a fun opportunity to have a fine dining experience while getting a look at the aesthetic value of each boat. For other nautical enthusiasts, it’s more about climbing aboard to check out the engineering and hardware. 

“[Some] go on the tour to look at the technical stuff; they’re looking at the bells and the whistles, the size of the motors and such,” Loweth said. “It’s a completely different experience for everyone.”

Some of the yachts belong to MarineMax, while others belong to business owners and community members like Ken White. 

White is a Wilmington plastic surgeon and was named commodore for his second year, showing his 42-foot yacht, Suture Self IV

“It’s a wonderful cause. I know a lot of people who have been working so hard for the children’s museum,” he said. “It’s fun for us.”

As commodore, White will help make guests feel at home and enjoy a unique evening aboard what he considers a blend of artwork and functionality. 

“They’ll get to see things that a lot of people have never seen before in a very well-done, elegant atmosphere,” he said. “There’s not too many things where that combination is available.”

In addition to the YachtVenture tour, guests may purchase tickets for a raffle drawing later that evening, with prizes including a luxury vacation for seven days and six nights aboard a MarineMax 413 sailing monohull or 382 power catamaran in the British Virgin Islands. Raffle tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at the event or by visiting

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