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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.

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rosie gets a new mast partner

The Museum's newest shipwright India Gilham-Westerman, and Bud McIntire finished the installation of Rosie's new mast partner. A mast partner are the ship's timbers between deck beams around the opening in the deck where the mast passes through -- they are under the deck planking. When the mast is stepped it is "wedged" in place at deck level, the wedges going between the partners and the mast itself. This serves to stiffen the installation, so that the mast doesn't move around and start damaging itself and the deck.
Rosie's original mast partner

Shipwright apprentice India crafting a new mast partner

Installing the new mast partner

India and Bud