Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum floating fleet gets spring spruce-up

. May 20, 2017

Under the guidance of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Shipwright James DelAguila, the maintenance season for CBMM’s floating fleet of historic vessels is once again in full swing, with all work done in full public view.

As is typical this time of year, work proceeds with the most-used and popular vessels, including the 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle, which received some system upgrades and a fresh coat of paint, thanks to the generosity of CBMM’s dedicated volunteers and staff. The Smith Island crab scraping replica Volunteer and crab dredger Old Point are each receiving minor carpentry repairs, along with fresh coats of paint in advance of their busy seasons.

The skipjack Rosie Parks is next up on the railway, where a leak in the forward staving will be eliminated, and her Cummins-powered pushboat will be recommissioned. Additionally, a rebuilt transmission has been installed on the draketail Martha, which is in the water awaiting a final solution to her cooling system.

Over the summer, CBMM offers on-the-water opportunities including Miles River cruises aboard Winnie Estelle, and small craft rentals of CBMM-constructed sailing vessels, rowing vessels, and wooden kayaks. Throughout the year, CBMM also sells boats through its Charity Boat Donation Program.

From now through 2018, CBMM guests can watch the progress on the log-hull restoration of 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, with photos, project updates, and more information at

CBMM’s floating fleet is part of the largest and most important collection of Chesapeake watercraft in the world, with 92 vessels built from the 1880s to the 1980s, including wooden sail, power, and row boats. All of the region’s waterfowling boats are represented, along with most of the major types used in the region’s fisheries, along with a good sample of recreational watercraft. CBMM’s working boatyard maintains the floating fleet in working condition, and stewards all objects in CBMM”s watercraft collections. All work is done in full public view, with woodworking, boatbuilding, and other maritime-related educational programs offered in the boatshop throughout the year. To learn more, go to

Shipwright James DelAguila and RPM Foundation Shipwright Apprentice Michael Allen work on the 1909 crab dredger Old Point, one of the historic Chesapeake boats in CBMM’s floating fleet, now undergoing spring maintenance

Category: Museum News

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