Wooden Boat Festival Lifetime Achievement Awards

Join us for the Lifetime Achievement Awards!

Thursday, Sept 7, at 5:30 PM, at the Cruising & Technical Stage

Award Criteria

The Wooden Boat Festival Lifetime Achievement Awards recognizes people who have made a significant contribution to the wooden boat community over multiple decades.  

These contributions may be demonstrated in one or more of the following ways:

  • Leadership in volunteerism and service to the wooden boat community, including work with nonprofit organizations, paid and unpaid
  • Major achievements in design, considering number and variety of designs, ingenuity, market recognition, and lasting style impacts for wooden boats great and small
  • Excellence in wooden boatbuilding, considering achievements in craft, influential techniques or approaches, and/or commitment to the ethos of wooden boat stewardship and preservation.
  • Substantial time and expertise mentoring, engaging, and/or inspiring generations to preserve and celebrate wooden boats and the wooden boat community
  • Other meaningful and consistent contributions to the wooden boat community over a period of years that have made an impact on others and their appreciation, understanding, and access to wooden boats.

Nomination Process

Anyone may nominate potential awardees before January 1st each year. If you would like to forward someone’s name for consideration, please prepare a bit of background on the nominee and why you think they should be honored with this award. The Selection Committee reviews nominees during the first quarter of each year; nominees who are not awarded in one year may still be considered in subsequent years without being re-nominated. Click here to submit a nomination.


The awards were conceived in 2007 by Jim Miller, Ted Pike, and Sam Devlin to honor lifetime contributions of individuals in the wooden boat industry. The award, originally sponsored by WoodenBoat magazine, started as a Lifetime Achievement for Design and Building Award, with awardees on both the east and west coasts. It was later expanded by Kaci Cronkhite to recognize broader contributions to the wooden boat community - the Wooden Boat Culture & Community Spirit Award. During the ceremonies on both coasts, NWMC board member Ted Pike served as the heart, voice, and handshake of the awards from 2009 until his passing in 2015. 

WoodenBoat magazine discontinued the award on the east coast in 2018. Since then, NWMC and the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival has been the only organization in North America with annual recognition of lifetime achievement in wooden boats. Awards for both Design & Building and Culture & Community Spirit have been awarded each year since 2009 (except 2020 due to COVID-19), as well as several special posthumous recognitions. Beginning in 2023, the award’s two categories were combined into a broader recognition of Lifetime Achievement, which may be awarded to 1-4 people each year. 

Awards History

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