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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bill - a Georgetown College grad takes a sander to the Keuka Lake trout boat

Bill made short work of the wood putty covering the new ribs (frames) on this 1924 Keuka Lake (NY) trout fishing boat that's being restored at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.
A good Hoya (Georgetown) grad makes short order of this sanding job in May. It was left in October before everything got busy & cold in the Apprentice For A Day (AFAD) shop at CBMM.
Bill also helped router out the underpinnings for the seats on the Rushton rowboat.

Hopefully, he'll come back for other AFAD days.

The third Smith Island Skiff is on the calendar to start on 4 June. The strong back will be set up again then it's on to a new build.

Green paint on the Rushton

First coat is a great green.

Looks like a Rushton (New York) color.

Green first coat over Atlantic White Cedar planks & Mahogany keel changes this rowboat.

Hardly needs a filter.

Mary Sue scuffs & cleans & starts to tape for painting.

Casey does a clean up before we turn the boat from cedar planking & mahogany keel to a fabulous green.

Casey shows a visitor the interior before we flip the Rushton for a coat of paint.

Last look at the Atlantic white cedar planks, mahoghany keel & iroko sheer before we add paint to the Rushton Florida Model double-ended rowboat.

Smith Island Skiff 2 closer for Mack's crabbing 28May2011

John closes the Small Boat Shop to add trim to his son's Smith Island Skiff.

John is focused on drilling & driving.

This cabin looks fine after much design, debate & re-design.

The wiring begins.

Mack tries the seat below the cabin as Doc John describes the wiring to a visitor & Dan consults on how the electronics will be installed.

Mack considers his crabbing as Dan explains how it's all going together so he gets feedback on what Mack wants in his skiff.

Rosie's Transom is Complete!

The transom is up on Rosie! Definitely making some headway.

Jenn works to loosen a galvanized nail on Rosie Parks' existing transom - love the ponytail flying!
Community members are welcome to help work on the restoration on Saturdays from 10am - 3. Must be 16 or older or accompanied by adult. Women encouraged. Pre-registration is not required, but helpful. Email during the week at or stop by our welcome center for more details.

The galvanized nails from the transom, like everything that is being removed from Rosie, will be saved and either cataloged, or given as mementos to our donors and volunteers working on the project.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A New Rudder for Rosie!

Rosie's new rudder is sweet! And a real work of art made from a 4" thick pieces of quarter-sawn white oak. Come see this and more all taking place with real shipwrights and the rich history of the Chesapeake Bay. 

that's the Rosie Parks starboard side in the background

drilling and pinning the first section to the rudder post

nice work - new vs. old
The pins from above

Some of the shipwright's measurements are seen on the finished piece.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Transom Work on Rosie Parks

Shipwright Apprentice Jenn Kuhn works to shape the first new transom board for the skipjack Rosie Parks
Project Manager Marc Barto and Apprentice Jenn Kuhn working together.
Old and new.
The piece is placed with clamps to the transom before anti-fouling paint and Sikaflex is used

 Recently surpassing her fifty-year mark, Rosie Parks is in need of substantial rebuilding. Repairs were made to the boat as needed until 1994, but Rosie remains one of the least altered historic skipjacks in existence. If restored in accordance to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects, Rosie could be the best example of her type for interpretation of the work of this fleet.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Removing Edna's bowsprit

Shipwrights and volunteers removed the bowsprit off the bugeye Edna E. Lockwood. 

Removing the hardware around the bowsprit.

A perspective from the end of the bowsprit, it's a big, heavy piece of wood! The new one is made from Douglas fir.

Tying her up to the fork.

Rich Scofield, once again climbing a spar.

Rich and Mike work to get the bowsprit loose from the deck.

Jen working on the bowsprit from down below.

Trying to use some wedges to knock the bowsprit from its stuck position

Almost ready to pull on her again.

Getting ready to lay her down next to the new one, which will be installed after painting the deck, etc. from where the bowsprit was removed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Working Rosie's Deadwood

The shipwrights at the Museum have been busy removing, carving, and refitting a section of Rosie's keel called the deadwood. (a wooden part of the centerline structure of a boat, usually between the sternpost and amidships)

Pattern used in duplicating the deadwood.

Marc is using a chainsaw to cut away part of the scarf joint.
Painting on red lead, a wood preservative, in preparation for the new deadwood piece.
Cutting kerfs.
Gradually cutting away excess wood and weight getting the shipwrights closer to the final shape.

Notice there are four of us carrying this piece of angelic (a Brazilian  hardwood so heavy that it sinks!)
The first fit!
Just about perfect! Good pattern making at its best.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rushton Florida Model to get wet later in May at CBMM

Casey shows off the oars, ready for varnish

Working that cherry with a spokeshave

A muskrat comes up for lunch during our high tide
Dick gets a shot at the wildlife we get to see every day at CBMM

6 Coats of Captain's Varnish for all the brightwork

The center of the decks won't be visible when we're done

After the varnish, painting time for the planks & keel

Plenty of shine on the inside

Everything get sealed before the varnish or paint is applied

Two more coats of varnish on the sheer & deck, sink some nails & get to the paint

The Rushton Florida Model double ended rowboat will be going into the water sometime later in May. The schedule published in October of 2010 showed 22 May 2011 and 26-29 May's Memorial Day weekend for getting her wet.

We won't be in by the 22nd of May. Look for an update when the boat gets launched at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

For boat time, being even close to the planned schedule is fabulous.