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, July 29, 2013

Preparing for Launch

Our newest shipwright apprentice, Chris Kretch, is busy working on the historic restoration of the skipjack Rosie Parks.

Rosie Parks Project Manager Mark Donohue reports the skipjack Rosie Parks is on schedule for her relaunching at 4pm on Saturday November 2, 2013 at CBMM’s OysterFest. All are invited to come out for this historical and community event.

Various pieces of hardware, rails, plates, irons, and stanchions continue to be primed and painted for installation. CBMM volunteers have installed the stern handrails and are just about to install the forward handrails. Next, they’ll be readying the steering box, gear, and wheel for installation.

CBMM’s shipwrights are in the midst of faring bottom frames, performing dutchman and sweet nail repairs to the garboard rabbet, and shaping the bevel of the chine to ready her bottom for planking. The milling, shaping and hanging of Rosie’s bottom planks will soon be completed.

Once the bottom planking goes up, CBMM’s shipwrights, apprentices, and volunteers will mill, shape and install her sister keelsons. Two keelsons on each side run from near the transom all the way to Rosie’s stem. Once the keelsons are installed, the remainder of Rosie’s bottom planks will be hung.

Rosie’s mast, boom, jib club, and mainmast gaff have been gathered from storage, with shipwrights measuring the lengths of halyards, sheets, and lines in order to replace her running rigging. The condition of her blocks is being assessed for servicing or replacement. All in all, her spars are in fantastic shape and just need some attention to get them ready for stepping and rigging this fall. Videos documenting the restoration progress on Rosie Parks can also be found at

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Getting Ready for Planking

Here is a quick update from Chris Kretch, one of the members of skipjack Rosie Parks' crew. Soon they should be doing the planking, so stay tuned for more updates from the boatyard as the restoration of Rosie continues!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Working on a Rainy Day

Mark Donohue, Rosie Parks project manager, gives us an update on the work being done in the boatyard today! The rain isn't stopping any of our shipwrights today; they are hard at work on Rosie's bottom planks.
Pardon the background noise, the rain was making quite a racket.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Every Detail Counts

As Mark Donohue gets settled in around the boatyard as the new leading man in the restoration of skipjack Rosie Parks, things are starting to shape up as details are being taken care of. These past few weeks, the shipwrights and volunteers have endured some tedious work in order to get ready to put the bottom planks and stringers on Rosie. Mark says the team is "fairing the frames, cleaning the rabbit, and sweetening up the chine to get her ready for some bigger steps next week."

On deck, volunteers have been putting up the railing and posts. The painting is almost complete, too!

Down below, volunteer Chris is fairing the frames to prevent leaks. The wood transom on Rosie has side grain which is very susceptible to absorbing water, so this is an important detail that has to be done with accuracy and precision. 

In a few weeks, Mark and his team plan on putting on the bottom planks and the stringers. He said that after the smaller details are taken care of, the process will move much more quickly for everyone anxiously awaiting Rosie's next steps.