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Wooden-boat museum sails forward

In the age of fiberglass hulls and outboard motors, of flashy paint and electronic depth-finders, remnants of Louisiana's wooden-boat building tradition remain showcased in a nearly century-old building.

The Center for Traditional Louisiana Boatbuilding is still waiting for more interior work on the building and seeking more key artifacts before fully opening the museum to the public.

The museum houses traditional wooden boat designs from a simple marsh pirogue up to the larger Lafitte skiff.

Tom Butler, the center's director who began the boat collection in 1979, energetically points to one of his favorite pieces in the collection — a "dugout," a Native American wooden canoe likely built more than 300 years ago from a tree that dates back between 1438 and 1662.

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