Rigging on Skipjack

Rigging on Skipjack E.C. Collier, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland

Rigging on Skipjack E.C. Collier, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland

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Rigging on Skipjack

In an earlier post we looked at the Chesapeake Bay oyster canning industry. In the early days the oyster harvest was limited to small row boats in the waters close to shore. The expansion of the oyster industry came with the development of larger boats which could sail further into the Bay. It is no coincidence that the skipjack came to prominence at the same time as the oyster industry was at its peak in the later days of the nineteenth century.  Prior to the development of the skipjack, the boats were unstable.  The skipjack has a wooden, v-shaped hull.  The boat has a very low freeboard (the height of the deck above the water line) and a wide beam (averaging one third of the length of the deck) which provided a stable platform for the dredging operations. The skipjack is a sloop-rigged sailboat with a single mast and a fore-and-aft rig.

Gaff Rings and Sail on Skipjack E.C. Collier, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland

Gaff Rings and Sail on Skipjack E.C. Collier, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland

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Here we see the E.C. Collier, one of the skipjacks at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. This particular boat is housed in one of the original oyster sheds. The lighting and displays on the deck of the harvesting of the oysters do not permit full boat images. As the public is allowed on-board the skipjack, though, it allows for some great detailed shots of the rigging.

Rigging on Skipjack E.C. Collier, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland

Rigging on Skipjack E.C. Collier, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Maryland

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

Summary
Rigging on skipjack
Article Name
Rigging on skipjack
Description
The skipjack E.C. Collier at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum allows for some wonderful images of the rigging of this mainstay of the oyster industry
Author
Publisher Name
Mark Summerfield
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