Working the Waters
The John Smith shallop has been in the news a lot these days, but it is not the only boat associated with the Bay. Here are seven boats linked with the Chesapeake and their descriptions. Can you match them up?
1. This vessel, the state boat of Maryland, has a pointed bow and squared stern. It usually has only one mast with sharp, sloop-rigged sails featuring a single jib. In its heyday, it was used for dredging oysters and was the last commercial sailing fleet in the nation. Many of the remaining members of this fleet offer day excursions.
2. In its heyday, this ship was one of the fastest vessels on the water. It had two raked (sloped to the stern) masts and topmasts, and a pointed bow. Its design was based on the fast ships used during the Revolutionary war to run blockades or intercept British trade ships.
3. This ship had three to four long narrow masts. It was slower than many boats and was designed to carry cargo through the C & D Canal.
4. The state boat of Virginia is the most commonly seen watermen’s workboat on the Bay today. While there are many versions, all have a V hull and a hard chine (line of intersection) between the sides and the bottom. Most have a small cabin near the front of the boat and an open, boxlike stern. It is usually powered by a single engine. A multipurpose boat, it is used for oyster tonging, crabbing, clamming, net fishing and eeling.
5. This is the earliest Bay workboat. Both ends are pointed. Native Americans fashioned them from a single tree by burning the trunk and then scraping the burnt area repeatedly until they had hollowed out the boat. Some of these boats, which are powered by paddlers, were up to 50 feet long. It was used for both fishing and transportation.
6. This ship was usually painted green and a shade of pink named after the boat itself. It had a sharp V hull. Its sails were rigged like a schooner: two raked masts, the second of which sported a topmast. It was used for oyster dredging and carrying freight.
7. Both ends of this ship are pointed, particularly the bow. Its design, based on the log canoe, also features a deck and living space for its crew. It has carried everything from a pirate’s bounty and smugglers’ whiskey to crops, lumber and coal. It was also used to dredge for oysters.
To learn more about these and other Chesapeake Bay workboats, visit www.baygateways.net/bayworkboats.
1. skipjack 2. Baltimore clipper 3. ram schooner 4. deadrise 5. dugout 6. pungy 7. bugeye
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