The logo for this Third Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium, the profile of a rakish sailing log canoe superimposed on that of a modern racing sloop, vividly illustrates the difference between the past and the present. Some might say good riddance to the past but there are many good reasons for trying to preserve something of our maritime heritage, not only the larger vessels such as the whaler Charles w. Morgan and the U. S. Corvette Constellation, but the smaller working watercraft as well. Although the Constellation was built in the Bay region, she was designed as a normal ocean-going ship for naval service; she has none of the unique features of Bay naval architecture hence is outside of the scope of this paper.

In the days of our grandfathers the Chesapeake Bay region was the home of a multitude of watercraft employed for a wide variety of pursuits from general freighting to crabbing. There were rams, pungies, schooners, sloops, bugeyes, brogans, canoes, bateaux, skiffs, and scows. Of the skiffs alone, it is said that fourteen different designs were recognized on the Bay.

While large numbers of these working boats and vessels have disappeared, it is only on Chesapeake Bay, of all the waters of the United States, that a fair variety of local watercraft can be found. Here there is still a chance of preserving for posterity more than isolated examples.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.