Beginning in 1954, I've spent a lot of time on the Chesapeake Bay. I've come to love the beauty and tranquility (at times), along with the myriad of watercraft found on the Bay and every river and creek that leads to the Bay. In particular, I've become familiar with the Eastern Shore, from the C&D Canal down to Crisfield, MD. I've been to Smith Island a couple of times (interesting place). I've spent time on Tilghman Island (nice). I've visited Deltaville, VA (to buy a boat) and Poquoson, VA (still can't pronounce that one). There are lots of great places on the Bay and lots of places I've yet to explore. Thankfully, there's still time!
Over the years, I developed a fondness for Chesapeake deadrise workboats. I just like the way they look and the way they cut through the water. I've come to appreciate the differences between a round stern and box stern. And I've learned there are differences between Maryland and Virginia workboats, as there are differences in maritime state laws the watermen must follow.
I've read a bunch of books on the Bay, too. I was surprised to read that many watermen can't swim (!) and I was surprised to learn "Sea Mist Green" is a somewhat common color for the interior of certain workboats, particularly crab scrapes. And don't get me started on the crazy "oyster wars" from many decades ago.
My dad’s first boat was a 28' deadrise, converted from a workboat to a very basic cabin cruiser. I didn't know it then but my exposure to that boat resulted in a lifetime of boating activity, most of it centered around the Bay. By the way, that's me in the photo below (far right side) on my dad's boat on June 26, 1963!
In 2017, I started Blackway Boat Models as a side enterprise. The goal was, and still is, to offer a line of handcrafted wooden deadrise workboat models and matching miniature nautical accessories. We must be doing something right, as we've sold 400+ boat models since inception, along with countless miniature bushel baskets, crab nets, oyster tongs, oyster baskets, outboard motors and more.
We'll keep it up, as long as our customers continue to tell us they love our products and the memories they invoke. To our previous (and future) customers - Thank You!
Bruce Blackway, Founder