Annual Charity Boat Auction returns to CBMM

This Labor Day weekend, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will once again host its annual Charity Boat Auction on Saturday, Sept. 4. More than 60 donated boats and watercraft—ranging in size and performance from cruising boats to dinghies—will be in the water and on land to be auctioned off to the highest bidders.  

“This is an absolute auction, meaning all boats will be sold the day of the event, with no minimums or reserves, and CBMM staff and volunteers will be on hand at an onsite title office for ease of transfer and title work.” said CBMM’s Charity Boat Donation Program Director Wes Williams. “These donated boats are sold year-round, and will be sold up until a few days prior to the auction.”  

The event also includes a flea market-style tag sale starting at 9am, where guests can purchase a variety of used boating gear, including ground tackle, electrical equipment, hardware, rope, chain, oars, life jackets, fishing tackle, motors, and more. 

Proceeds from the rain-or-shine event benefit the children and adults served by CBMM’s education, restoration, and exhibition programming.  

In addition to being listed online, auction boats will be available for preview at CBMM on Friday, Sept. 3, from 9am–5pm. Regular admission rates will apply until 3pm, and gates will open for free from 3­–6pm. Guests can also preview the boats on auction grounds beginning at 8am the day of the event, with bidding beginning at 11am. Food and beverages will be available for purchase starting at 10:30am. 

“We work with donors all year-round, many caring for a boat they are no longer using, or having inherited a boat that won’t be used,” said Williams. “And these gifts are deductible to the full extent allowed by law.” 

On Sept. 4, CBMM’s Fogg’s Landing gates open at 8am, with free event entrance for CBMM members and children ages 5 and under. Otherwise, general admission is $5 per person until 11am, with a $5 paddle fee for registered bidders. After 11am, regular two-day admission rates apply. For safety reasons, non-service dogs are prohibited during CBMM festivals and special events, including the Charity Boat Auction.  

For the official rules, auction details, and inventory updates, visit, or contact or 410-745-4942. 

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