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Thread: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

  1. #1
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    Default Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    I am going to feature a short thread on workboats of the Chesapeake Bay. I live in an area where they are still used. I visit Tangier Island a few times each summer and there are dozens of working boats in use. I also go Marina Hopping when I can and will take pictures of anything interesting. The first boat is from a trip we took last weekend. This is the Buyboat Linda Carol being restored at York Haven Marina in Poquoson,Va. The work is being done by David Rollins and crew. She is 55' x 14'x 4'7" and built in 1931 by L.R. and Alton Smith of Susan, Va.

    They were very nice about inviting my wife and I on board without knowing how much we liked, knew, and followed this kind of vessel. Their work looked very nice and I only regret I am not showing completed photos. They would have finished this project in another 2 weeks. The inlay in the wheelhouse sole looked great but had been sanded ready for another coat and doesn't show how good it looked.






















    Last edited by waltwood; 06-12-2016 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Beautiful boat! Tangier Island is fun, plus - the locals will give you all the cats you can haul away! I docked there overnight with a buddy and heard little paws running all over the boat all night, woke up to about 30 or more (cats) standing on the dock staring at me the next morning. We checked for stowaways thoroughly the next day.
    Last edited by Dr. Strangelove; 06-12-2016 at 09:19 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Here is the skipjack Claud W. Somers, built in 1911, and our yawl boat Spat, owned by the Reedville Fishermen's Museum. We are currently hauled out for a Coast Guard dry dock inspection and fastener pull and annual painting and maintenance. Everything was going great until we found the rot in the stem. Got a little project ahead of us!






    Last edited by Gerhard; 06-13-2016 at 08:45 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    THANK YOU for this thread, my favorite boats--Chesapeake workboats. More please!
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerhard View Post
    Here is the skipjack Claud W. Somers, built in 1911, and our yawl boat Spat, owned by the Reedville Fishermen's Museum. We are currently hauled out for a Coast Guard dry dock inspection and fastener pull and annual painting and maintenance. Everything was going great until we found the rot in the stem. Got a little project ahead of us!






    I was at Cockrells 2 weeks ago and saw this! Thanks for posting it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Here is a video stepping the mast on the Claud W. Somers.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    MORE, PLEASE

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    I'm pretty sure it has been posted in the past but here is a video building a traditional deadrise workboat;

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    I've always had a liking for boats of the Chesapeake, thanks for this thread Walt! Growing up on the Jersey shore in the 60's & 70's there would occasionally be some that would wander up our way. It was always nice to see them.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    When I lived in Colonial Beach, Va for some months I was treated to see out the window rounded stern boats with wide gunwales on which stood tongers working for oysters. It would be nice to see these boats again.
    Bolger sheetply Chebacco cat-yawl
    MacGregor 1939 Sabot dink
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    Bryan Fiddlehead

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Thanks for starting this thread! And special thanks for the pics of Linda Carol. She's a beauty. Anyone interested in these boats may like to know that there is an organization that promotes them and organizes an annual cruise around the bay and nearby waters. Info here: http://www.oysterbuyboats.com/cbba.html

    My wife Brooke and I have one under construction at our home. Not traditional cross plank/deadrise construction, it'll be plywood over framing and bulkheads. We're closing in on completing the frame - or will be when I can get back to work on it. Here's where things stand now:

    Stem, log, and keel forward. Beveling in progress; transverse framing yet to be fitted:



    Transom framing with a few deck beams in place, first lamination of the bottom stringers set in the molds.



    This, btw, is the mystery boat my friend Mark (Reynard38) posted about helping with over in his Harry Bryan Betty build thread...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    But back to the real boats, here's our friend Dave Cantera's boat passing us as she heads home last fall after Sultana Downrigging Weekend.



    And an attempt to upload a short video of her...

    Last edited by FSS172; 06-18-2016 at 04:14 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by FSS172 View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread! And special thanks for the pics of Linda Carol. She's a beauty. Anyone interested in these boats may like to know that there is an organization that promotes them and organizes an annual cruise around the bay and nearby waters. Info here: http://www.oysterbuyboats.com/cbba.html

    My wife Brooke and I have one under construction at our home. Not traditional cross plank/deadrise construction, it'll be plywood over framing and bulkheads. We're closing in on completing the frame - or will be when I can get back to work on it. Here's where things stand now:

    Stem, log, and keel forward. Beveling in progress; transverse framing yet to be fitted:



    Transom framing with a few deck beams in place, first lamination of the bottom stringers set in the molds.



    This, btw, is the mystery boat my friend Mark (Reynard38) posted about helping with over in his Harry Bryan Betty build thread...
    Great boat! Please show us more.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Buyboats, also called Drudgeboats by the local watermen, were used to take oysters to markets in the winter and crabs in the summer. They would "buy" the seafood off of smaller boats and travel longer distances to markets. Their other use was dragging for crabs buried in the mud at the mouth of the Bay in the winter. They could pull 2 scrapes at a time.

    They never had sails, always single engines, and the mast was used as a boom to load cargo. They don't, however, look right without the mast. I have read about and seen pictures of them hauling lumber and other goods but this was not their primary function.

    I grew up on the water and our next door neighbor had 2 buyboats. When I was a kid I would crawl around in the bilge of them and was fascinated by the large keelson and the other massive framing. I don't know whether that started my interest in wooden boats or it was just in me.

    I don't know much about these boats. The Mundy Point is a live-a-board and berthed in Reedville,Va. The 55th Virginia is a pleasure boat in Urbanna,Va. The last one did not make it and is in Saxis Island,Va.















  15. #15
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Those buy boats sure are handsome craft.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    Those buy boats sure are handsome craft.

    Absolutely.


    Great posts , and thread guys !

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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Speaking of "did not make it", ..... Here's one that got up to Belford N.J. for some of her working life, but didn't make it back home down south.


    Typical cross planked bottom.





    At least her stern post and rudder are still upright..

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    Speaking of "did not make it", ..... Here's one that got up to Belford N.J. for some of her working life, but didn't make it back home down south.


    Typical cross planked bottom.





    At least her stern post and rudder are still upright..
    I think the dock is about done too!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    I've been sailing the bay for about 25 years now, and I like those workboats and other native types more than ever. Here are a few shots:









    -Dave

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    god I miss the bay and the boats! deadrises ftw!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    #29 is Rebecca T. Ruark out of Tilghman, one of the oldest skipjacks, from the late 1800's, and and listed as a National Historic Landmark. Here is the list of the remaining, the last vestiges of many hundred if not thousands of these boats tha plyed the Bay in the early 1900's.

    http://lastskipjacks.com/list.html#questions

    The modern motorized deadrise workboats with their iconic tiny pilot houses far forward are the direct descendants of the skipjacks from the tail end of the age of sail.
    Last edited by SMARTINSEN; 06-21-2016 at 09:40 PM.
    Steve Martinsen

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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    I think the dock is about done too!
    Lol,.... Yep, that pier is pretty typical Belford. Actually, that one is improved quite a bit from 'pre-Sandy', if you can believe that.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    In August the CBBA will hold its annual homecoming at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels.
    http://cbmm.org/event/12th-annual-ch...yboat-reunion/
    Also that weekend will be Watermen's Appreciation Day.
    http://cbmm.org/events/annual-festiv...reciation-day/
    Should be a great weekend for fans of these boats.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    This event is also a great one, possibly the largest skipjack gathering and race anywhere. It's where I shot the last two photos I posted higher up.

    http://dealislandchancelionsclub.org...vent-schedule/

    Another chance to see some traditional Chesapeake craft is the annual downrigging festival in Chestertown. (Source of the top photo above)

    http://sultanaeducation.org/public-p...ing-weekend-2/
    -Dave

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Walt, Thank you for starting this thread and Smartinsen thank you for a great list of jacks and their status. I'm far from the bay, but before i retired I traveled extensively across this great country hauling heavy equipment and machinery and fell in love with the historical aspects and implications of sail both pleasure and the working side of life.
    Been reading woodenboat for, well since about 1975, there is a picture of John with a phone on a tree, pretty cool. Wooden boat has come a long way.
    I've owned 2 blue water boats, a Phil Road's 39' on deck fractional sloop and and Alberg 30, no longer a purists, I guess. I live in north Central Minn. and needless to say we have a ton of land locked, big lakes. I started studying Joe Gregory a few years back and got in contact with his son shaun. I bought the plans for the Ruth N. canton last year, a modified skipjack, full keel with ballast and slightly more freeboard and for christmas received a gift certificate for the wooden boat store and ordered the plans for Calico jack.
    I have a 30 by 60 wood shop and have been acquiring lumber for the build, doug fir, white oak. and white spruce. We will start calico this fall, the only variation we will do is tabernackle the mast and trailer it to our launchings. I would very much appreciate any of you out there that know of present day active builders of the dead rise boats. a few pointers from time to time to save a rookie from making stupid mistakes is always appreciated. I loved all the pictures and the contributions all of you have made to this thread. When i learn how to post pictures I will share with you folks how things are going for us. Please dont hesitate to make suggestions as all are appreciated and certainly considered. Once again thank you all very much. Clyde (JackPine)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Good to hear from you and it sounds like a fun project.
    I don't know of any full time deadrise builders but there are a few knowledgeable ones around. There are a couple of them in Deltaville and Reedville Va. For me to get advice I have to travel to them which is not practical for you. This Forum is a good source of info.
    Walt

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Since this is the "building/repair" section of the forum, here is the Claud W. Somers with her stem removed. As soon as the CG comes down and takes a look, we can start putting her back together again. It would sure be nice to get back in the water before the season is over!!!!


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Say hi to Andy and Miles.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Nice thread Walt, and everyone. I'm enjoying this!

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay



    Here is a modern work boat with a nicely proportioned pilot house.

    Here is a modern replica of a very old Chesapeake Bay work boat. This is the shallop that John Smith used to explore the Cheaspeake Bay way back in the early 1600's. Built by John Swain in Chestertown for the CBMM.



    _________________

    Has anyone built Calico Jack? She is featured in WB#20.

    The Workboats of Smith Island by Paula Johnson is a good reference for the deadrise workboats of the current era. It contains the lines and construction drawings for Darlene a 40' crab scrape, which well documented in a build thread here:

    http://scrapeboatstella-r.blogspot.com/

    and of course, here:

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...rabbing-Scrape
    Last edited by SMARTINSEN; 07-04-2016 at 06:54 PM.
    Steve Martinsen

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    Say hi to Andy and Miles.
    Will do!

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    To All,

    I lived up that way for over a decade, (when I was stationed at Ft Mead) and tried for years to buy a decent/vintage Buy-boat W/O luck.
    (The very few that ever change hands seem to go to family & close friends.)

    I had visions of living aboard, IF a suitable boat could be purchased in decent condition.

    yours, satx

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    Just came across this thread, and just happened to have posted some photos that fit the bill.

    http://www.eyeinhand.com/2016/07/03/...ke-float-2016/


    A deadrise under construction, very much like the one in the video link above:














    And a Chesapeake skiff, the personal workhorse. The water inside is from an insanely hard rain that morning:










  34. #34
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay

    A Buyboat there, too.




















  35. #35
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    Default Re: Workboats Of The Chesapeake Bay


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