Sailing Craft of the Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake oyster boom of the 19th century was rewarding for the watermen who had spent years "loading down Yankee ships and letting them sail off to make the greater profits," for now they could benefit from dealing directly with recently built local packers who paid them better prices for their oysters. Out of this mass scramble to harvest the profitable oysters of the Bay, emerged adaptations on the New England oyster dredge, with new devices and vessels for more efficient means of harvesting:

"Under the pressures of competition they enlarged their tippy log canoes until they became two, three and eventually five logs wide, adding in the process some of the most daring sail plans ever seen in North American water...The result was a period which many maritime historians consider one of the richest expressions of native American boat building." (Warner 1994)

The result was the creation of uniquely designed shipping vessels of greater economic construction and popularity among the watermen: pokomoke log sailing canoes . . .double-masted brogans . . .rakish bugeyes . . .and dead-rise bateaus or skipjacks.

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