In the early 1900’s, my great-grandfather owned the hardware store in Cecilton, MD (near Chestertown). Nowadays, I have relatives on the Eastern and Western shores. During the ‘60s and ‘70s, I traveled to many corners of the Chesapeake with my parents and sisters, having lots of adventures. Later, with my wife and three kids, we'd visit other parts of the Bay. Over time, I developed a genuine interest in the waterman's lifestyle and in Chesapeake Bay workboats, especially wooden “deadrise” workboats. Some of this interest is traced to my dad’s first boat, a 28-foot wooden deadrise, built not as a fishing boat, but more as a rudimentary cabin cruiser. A photo of this boat is shown on this page, as is a model of same. This boat was the catalyst behind the creation of this website, offering handcrafted wooden boat models and accessories to Bay enthusiasts.
Although the Chesapeake deadrise design is seen throughout various disciplines of bay activities, each boat is typically outfitted for its specific seafood harvesting task. I applaud the boat builders of long ago who worked by “rack of eye” (no drawings), creating versatile and seaworthy crafts suitable for harvesting an impressive array of seafood including crabs, oysters, fish, clams and more.
I've owned many boats in my life, including a few wooden ones similar to those on my website. I currently have a 23' Parker (see Contact Us page). I find the lines of this boat to be pleasant reminders of the lines of a typical wooden deadrise from long ago. Our goal is for our boat model customers to enjoy our Chesapeake Bay workboat models for many years to come.
Bruce Blackway, Founder