Historic Boats on the Bay
|The boat pictured above is a "push boat". It has
a very large engine. It was, and still is, used to push skipjacks.
The most frequent use is to move a skipjack in and out of the harbor. Skipjacks do not have an internal engine.
When not in use the push boat carried at the stern of the skipjack.
The boat pictured above is a
replica of a shallop. See text inset on photo.
|The two pictures above are of the sailing vessel Manitou. Referred to as President John F. Kennedy's Floating White House. The presidential yacht was traditionally a power boat. Kennedy was a sailor and asked for a proper sailing vessel. Manitou is now parked at the National Sailing Hall of Fame, City Dock Annapolis, MD.|
|The 3 pictures above are of Bugeyes.
The top 2 pictures are of the Edna E. Lockwood which is moored at
the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St.Michaels, MD. The 3rd
picture is a model of a bugeye.
The bugeye was developed in the early 1860's as an evolution of the log canoe. The traditional log canoe was constructed from three to nine logs joined together lengthwise and carved to form the lower portion of the hull. Most log canoes have two steeply raked masts.
As oyster harvesting methods changed from tonging and scraping to dredging, larger size vessels were needed to handle the larger equipment and larger hauls of oysters. The bugeye is built like the log canoe but is larger, measuring 40 to 50 feet in length. This design has a fixed bowsprit, a forward cabin, and sails with a jib and a leg-of-mutton foresail and mainsail. The bugeye's popularity as an oyster boat peaked during the 1880's. Later, the cheaper to build skipjack was developed and replaced the bugeye in popularity as an oyster boat.
Neither the bugeye nor the skipjack had internal engines. A push boat (pictured above) was hung on the stern (see the picture immediately below) and lowered into the water and attached to the stern to maneuver the big boats.
|The 3 pictures above are of skipjacks which were the successors
to the bugeye. The 3rd picture is a painting of a skipjack in
heavy weather off Thomas Point. Skipjacks have become the icon of
The skipjack was designated the official state boat of Maryland in 1985.
The skipjack originated on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the 1890s. At that time it was better known as a small "two-sail bateau" with a V-hull. The craft evolved into the larger skipjack. Ranging in length from 25 to 50 feet, the hearty skipjack is known for speed and is powerful in light winds. Skipjacks have a shallow draft with a centerboard and carry a single mast, two-sail sloop rig. The remaining Chesapeake Bay Skipjack Fleet has been recognized as a national treasure in danger of extinction.
Skipjacks are the last working boats under sail in the United States. In winter, fleets of skipjacks used to dredge oysters from the floor of Chesapeake Bay. "Drudgin," as watermen called this process, was hard, cold, dirty, sometimes dangerous work. There are but a very few working skipjacks left.
|The 2 pictures above are of the Pride of Baltimore II.
The Pride of Baltimore was originally built as an authentic reproduction of a 19th century Baltimore Clipper schooner, patterned after and named for the legendary Baltimore built topsail schooner Chasseur. The Chasseur was known as the "Pride of Baltimore" and was a significant participant in the War of 1812. The Chasseur and other ships of the same design were quite fast and maneuverable. The original Pride was lost at sea with four of its twelve crew on May 14, 1986. The Pride of Baltimore II is not a replica of any specific vessel, but represents a type of vessel known as a Baltimore Clipper. It was built in a more modern design providing for more sea worthiness than the original.
One of the most famous of the American privateers (nice word for pirate), Thomas Boyle sailed Chasseur out of Fells Point, MD where she had been launched from Thomas Kemp's shipyard in 1812. On his first voyage as Captain of Chasseur in 1814, Boyle sailed east to the British Isles, where he harassed the British merchant fleet and sent a notice to George III, by way of a captured merchant vessel, declaring that the entire British Isles were under naval blockade by Chasseur alone! Despite its implausibility, this caused the British Admiralty to call vessels home from the American war to guard merchant ships sailing in convoys. Chasseur captured or sank 17 vessels before returning home to Baltimore on 25 March 1815. Perhaps her most famous accomplishment was the capture of the schooner HMS St Lawrence. On her return to Baltimore, the Niles Weekly Register dubbed the Chasseur, her captain, and crew the "pride of Baltimore" for their achievement.
Since her launch in 1988, Pride II, in addition to sailing the Chesapeake, has sailed more than 200,000 miles and called at more than 200 ports in 40 countries.