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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sailing Skiff for North Shore Boat Works begun at CBMM

Miss B is the new Apprentice For A Day (AFAD) project. Designed by Robert Baker in Westport, MA in 1963, only 2 of this sailing skiff were built. She is 11' x 4'6" and will carry a Gaff rig.

The lofting was done & molds made in preparation for the build to begin in January at AFAD. You may join in the fun & learning most weekends from now until May 2012. Perhaps you'll be the recipient of a Journeyman's Special gift, allowing you any four days to see different parts of the process. Perhaps you'll buy yourself the gift of just one day or several. In any case, we'd be glad to see you at CBMM's public boat building program. Please check the schedule at for details.

Julie & Sam Barnett flank Dan Sutherland as he & Julie point out the intersections for the batten on the lofting with Casey Nelson.

Julie & Sam secure & check the batten with Dan and Casey to establish a "fair line" for Miss B. This is when the boat takes it's shape.

Dan & Doc John Hawkinson watch & advise as Casey marks what Julie is taking from the plans the Baker Boat Works supplied.

Sam & Casey place another mold on the strong back. This shows the lofting is beginning to be re-created in three dimensions.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rosie: Deckbeams, frames, chines done! Now for the stringers!

Rosie's deckbeams, frames and chines are done. Now we're moving on to the stringers.
Completed Deck Beams

Completed Frames

Completed Chine

Notches for aft stringers

Notches in old chine

Aft stingers in chine

Stringers entering backbone

Stringers and the tools we use.

Four Aft Chines

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holidays are for demolition.....and I'm so glad you're mine

Ok, so now that's its winterish outside and  thanksgiving  is over we decided to make a nice comfortable  dome over  Delaware to make for a warm winter in the tundra.

Here Ken and Jen illustrate that even the most mundane tasks can be fun in a dome.  The goal for  this phase of the internal work on Delawares restoration is replace the carlins that hold up the engine room cabin.

To be able to access the carlins, sheer clamp, and deck beams the decks have to be removed . Preferably  being able to reuse the original material.
The right people for the job are definitively the A-Team apprentices as I like to call them. First they start out be putting registration lines so when they do go back in it not such a puzzle.
Then it is a matter of cranking some loud  classical or bluegrass and pick them bungs out. The bronze screws came out fairly easy, at least from my point of view anyway. Everything looks easier with a cup of coffee in your hand.

After the decking has been removed we can see the extent of work we need to be doing.
The carlin is not only rotten but has more scarfs in it than a  large gypsy family. Thats a lot, and it ruins the integrity of the deck and has made the cabin sag in the middle by inches. The sag then holds fresh water on the deck when it rains and rots things like deck beams and carlins.....oh what a vicious cycle.
Next time I'll explain the making of a carlin in place and how we plan to jack the house back into proper height. Until then, go work off those extra thanksgiving pounds.

Tug Delaware - more planks and a boat fort!

The new side planks are finished and painted, and the shipwright apprentices created a "boat fort" to protect them from the elements this winter as they continue repair work on Delaware.

Right before the last plank was attached.

Vessel Maintenance Manager Mike Gorman gets some help from the Museum's Chief Curator Pete Lesher to attach the final plank from the steam box.

The shipwrights, apprentices, and volunteers have build a fort around the tug Delaware, in preparation for winter's work.

The shipwrights build shelters, scaffolding, anything to make the work more accessible during foul weather.

The aft deck of the Delaware under cover -- windows included.

The scaffolding underneath the constructed walkway around Delaware's deck.

Shipwright Apprentice Jenn Kuhn peeks through a window from Delaware's deck.

Delaware's engine

The new side planks have been painted and are now undercover.

An inside view of the new side planks.

Jenn works on the deck removing fasteners from bad boards.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Doc John's Small Boat Apprentice For A Day 26 Nov 2011

Peter Barrette is transforming a pile of small planks into a boat.
CBMM is a place to have fun with boats of all sizes.

A day of really small boat building. Arranged by Dr. John Hawkinson for The Van Dervort and Barrette families at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. What a fun way to enjoy St. Michaels during Thanksgiving weekend. (Wait for an update with another photo or two as they arrive by email.)

J.B. Van Dervort is saving his hearing while his dad,
Judd Van Dervort, Jr. helps with his boat building project.
Andrew Barrette was concentrating as Mary Sue Traynelis,
-CBMM volunteer-, showed him how to use the band saw safely.
John Barrette shows off his finished product.

Mary Grace Van Dervort uses the band saw to cut a
bottom plank as Mary Sue acts as the guide or "fence" for her.

Nick displays a hammer & a smile as his brother,
Joe Morrissey, applies his hammer to his boat.

Front: John Barrette, Peter Barrette and J.B. Van Dervort
Middle: Nick Morrissey, Joe Morrissey, Andrew Barrette & Mary Grace Van Dervort
Back: Doc. John Hawkinson - CBMM volunteer who set up & directed this building project- , Bob Barrette, Judd Van Dervort, Jr. & Judd Van Dervort Sr.
The finished small boats await names & berths.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boatyard Crew Restoring 1931 Potomac River Dory Boat

A 37-foot, 10-1/2” x 12’ 7” 1931 Potomac River Dory, originally built by Francis Raymond “Peg Leg” Hayden in Banks O’Dee, MD, is now undergoing restoration inside the boat shop of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD.  
Over the next several months, museum shipwrights, apprentices and volunteers will be working on several aspects of the boat’s restoration, including replacing all bottom planks. They will also be fabricating a new forefoot piece on the stem and a new section of deadwood with the shaft alley drilled into it. Approximately sixty percent of the boat will also be reframed, with cosmetic upgrades and reinstallation of her engine completing the project. She will be painted in traditional dory colors: green, red, and yellow stripes on the lapped sheer strake, with the topsides and decks painted white.
Like other Potomac River Dories, this one is planked fore and aft, and the chine rises high above the waterline at her bow. Towards the bow, the sawn frames reach from the keel to the top of the side planks, stopping just short of the lapped sheer strake. Farther aft, the bottom frames are bolted to the side frames, but there is no chine log. The frames are spread at variable intervals. Her tuck stern and shield-shaped transom are typical of the Potomac River Dory. The bottom planks rise out of the water at the stern and the transom only touches the water in the center. Washboards reach back to the transom, where there is a curved seat but no decking. The boat is equipped with a six-cylinder Ford engine and two gas tanks.
Potomac River Dories were built in southern Maryland on the Potomac River and used primarily for oystering. These boats are descendants of the Black Nancy, a type of small (18 to 27 foot) and narrow Potomac River workboat dating pre-Civil War. J. Richley Delahay of Compton, MD bought the boat around 1938 in a sunken condition and refitted her. Later he passed the boat on to his sons, Kenneth and Ronald, who used her for oyster tonging. Always called the “big dory,” she was one of the few of her type to be refitted with wheel steering. Arthur Puchetti bought the boat in 1972, and had the cabin widened, raised, and extended aft. The Calvert Marine Museum donated the boat to CBMM in 1988.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Final Deck Framing & New Chine Log in Process on Rosie

Rosie's deck beams are now installed and we're moving on to the installment of a new chine log.

All deck beams are now in place.

Rosie's old chine log.

Rosie's old chine log.

Crafting a new chine log with India and Marc.

Initial fitting of the new chine log, port side.

Final installation.

Starboard chine log installation with boatyard volunteer Cliff Stretmeyer, Marc Barto and India Gilham-Westerman