The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary (a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea) in the U.S.A states of Maryland and Virginia lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded to the west by the North American mainland and to the east by the Delmarva Peninsula. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the Bay’s 64,299-square-mile drainage basin which covers parts of six states (New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) and all of Washington D.C.
With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, mainly in its seafood production, in particular blue crabs, rock fish, clams and oysters. The seafood harvesting industry was so large and important to the economy of Maryland and Virginia that in the middle of the 20th century, the Bay supported 9,000 full-time watermen. Today, the body of water is less productive than it used to be because of runoff from urban areas and farms, over-harvesting, and invasive species, like the snakehead fish.
This plentiful industry has led to a wide verity of workboats to accomplish the harvesting of various creatures. The oyster harvesting industry led to the development of the skipjack, the state boat of Maryland. The skipjack remains the only working boat type in the United States to still operate under full sail power. Other historical Bay-area workboats include sail-powered boats such as the log canoe, the pungy, the bugeye, and the motorized Chesapeake Bay deadrise, which is the state boat of Virginia.
I have lived in Maryland my whole life and currently have the pleasure of living on the bay itself. I have been building models of Chesapeake Bay workboats for roughly fifteen years and I hope to share them through this webpage. You can find links to images and descriptions of my models one the following pages: