Sailing History, Inspired!

Hampton, Virginia is more than a city by the sea—it’s a city whose history has been written by the waves. Whether harvesting the bounty of the ocean, moving goods across nature’s original highways, or finding a ready field for competitive recreation, locals have always turned to humanity’s most precious and powerful natural resource: Water. Hampton has thrived thanks to the ingenuity of the watercraft builders whose innovations took us to the sea, and continue to inspire us to this day. Sail-powered skiffs and log canoes carried the working men into the waterways for fishing, crabbing, and oystering, while the streamlined shape of the log canoes made them capable racing boats as well.

In the midst of America’s Great Depression, the Hampton Yacht Club sought to keep Hampton’s rich, seafaring traditions alive and created a one-class boat sailing competition. A local boat-builder named Vincent Serio answered the call and designed a small sailing boat to compete…inexpensive, fast, sleek, and easily handled for use in regattas and races. Its name was as simple as its design was ingenious: The Hampton One. Throughout his life Serio built hundreds of these swift, agile boats, and many more boat-builders followed his inspiration.

Hampton History Museum now celebrates Serio’s masterpiece with the Hampton One exhibit. The exhibit spans the first and second floors of the Museum, and features a Hampton One sail craft, as well as the extensive Vincent Serio collection of original tools, forms, jigs, documents, photos, trophies, uniforms, and other artifacts. The exhibit does more than celebrate the historic Hampton One sailboat—it honors Hampton’s proud and enduring legacy on the water.

For Hampton History Museum hours and admission fees, and Hampton accommodations, visit visithampton.com.

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