Welcome to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Boatyard Blog, where all things related to Chesapeake Bay Boats are discussed. Follow the Museum's progress on historic Chesapeake boat restoration projects, watch wooden boats being built from scratch in our Apprentice For a Day program, and meet the dedicated staff and volunteers working hard to give you the experience of Chesapeake Bay history while preserving traditional Chesapeake Bay boat building techniques. Make sure to join us as a follower of this blog so you will be notified of new posts, and make comments on anything you see on the blog.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On the Rail -- an update on the Floating Fleet at CBMM

Our last post was in October, and we apologize for not posting sooner. With the relaunch and rechristening of the skipjack Rosie Parks and the holidays, it's been very busy around here at CBMM. Lots of people assume the Museum and the Boatyard slow down in the winter, but that couldn't be farther from the truth! The Boatyard is actually BUSIER in the wintertime.

Here's an update on some of our major projects:

Skipjack Rosie Parks

The Rosie Parks  was relaunched at our annual OysterFest celebration on November 2, 2013. With 4,500 people in attendance, the Rosie kissed the water for the second time. Watch a recap of the ceremony:

Tug Delaware
The 1912 tugboat Delaware was hauled in September for her annual maintenance and some additional repairs. Shipwrights and apprentices replaced two garboard planks of Douglas fir and removed the shaft to assess the condition of the shaft alley and deadwood in addition to recaulking and painting. With assistance from Kastel Brothers of St. Michaels, shipwrights updated the shaft coupling and serviced the propeller.

Draketail Martha
The 1934 Bronza Parks-built Hooper Island draketail's (or dovetail) yearly maintenance consisted of fresh pain and the replacement of zincs and cotton caulking. Shipwrights took measurements for the new planks to be milled htis winter and ran her fuel clean for winter storage.

More on the progress of the Rosie's pushboat and the restoration of the Potomac River Dory Boat later this week.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Skipjack ROSIE PARKS goes overboard, soaks up

With the official re-launch and re-christening of the skipjack Rosie Parks coming to CBMM in St. Michaels, MD this November 2, 2013, the time has come for the newly-restored 1955 Skipjack to go overboard so that she can swell, or "soak up" as they say in wooden boatbuilding terms. The official launch is at CBMM's OysterFest on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 4pm on the marine railway. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Rosie's Whiskey Plank!

What do you think of the lines on the skipjack ROSIE PARKS? On October 2, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) shipwrights and apprentices placed the last plank, or “whiskey plank,” on the 1955 skipjack Rosie Parks, which has been under restoration since 2011. Although a ship is far from finished once the whiskey plank has been installed, mounting the whiskey plank marks a major milestone in the construction of a ship, and many shipbuilders treat it as a cause for celebration.The re-launch of the Rosie Parks is scheduled for CBMM’s OysterFest this November 2, with rigging to be completed in 2014.  

Friday, September 20, 2013

42 days until the relaunch of Rosie Parks - The Crew is Working Hard!

With 42 days left until the official relaunch of the Skipjack Rosie Parks, the boatyard crew is working 6-7 days per week. They're almost finished with the bottom.

 Shipwright Jenn Kuhn is helping with the forward work.

Rosie Parks Project Manager Mark Donohue and shipwright Joe Connor work on a pattern from the old planks to get ready to plank the forward bottom of the skipjack.

Shipwright Joe Connor compares the new bow staving to the old on the skipjack ROSIE PARKS. The old stavings are serving as a pattern for the new ones. Give a big thumbs up for all the hard work (six days a week!) going in to getting the ROSIE ready for her big day on November 2!

Even though the crew is working around the clock, we still found time for a staff crab feast. 

Shipwright Chris Kretch found a nice quiet spot for our staff Crab Feast last weekend.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Around the Boatyard at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, September 2013

A brief update of all the projects going on at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Working Boatyard, including the historic Skipjack Rosie Parks Restoration, an update on other vessels in the Museum's floating fleet, and some of the Boatyard Programs going on including a stained glass mosaic workshop and the Apprentice For a Day Program (AFAD). Come by and see our working boatyard with real shipwrights seven days a week here in St. Michaels, Maryland. Visit for more information. 
Music: "Hard Worker" by The Avett Brothers

Friday, August 16, 2013

Martha's Annual Maintenance

Vessel Maintenance Manager Michael Gorman reports the dovetail Martha was recently hauled out on the rail for her annual maintenance. Every year the Bronza Parks-built deadrise receives fresh paint, zincs and any cotton caulking that needs replacing. Martha is a Hooper Island draketail (or dovetail) built in 1934. She has an Oldsmobile 455 gas engine, and is on permanent display along Fogg’s Cove at the museum’s Waterman’s Wharf docks

The shipwrights, volunteers, and apprentices of the museum are making sure she looks her best for the November 2nd launching of the skipjack Rosie Parks. Both the Martha and Rosie were built in Wingate, MD by the famed shipwright.