Saturday, January 24, 2009


The skipjack Caleb W. Jones is being restored at The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum by the staff and apprentices of the non-profit Coastal Heritage Alliance. Built in 1953, this remnant of the Chesapeake Bay's fading fleet of sail-powered oyster dredging boats is getting an extreme makeover at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. On dry ground for now, the Caleb's hull is being taken apart and put back together again, a timber and plank at a time.
Skipjacks were developed in the 1890s. They were relatively inexpensive to build, and their shallow draft enabled them to dredge oysters closer in to shore. Watermen often built the craft themselves in their backyards.
The Caleb's owner wants to use it to offer educational cruises for groups of youngsters, taking them from Charles County down the Potomac River and over to Smith Island. A few of the old skipjacks are in similar service, owned by museums or nonprofit groups such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. For the rest of the story CLICK HERE.

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