129-Year-Old Chesapeake Bugeye Sails Again

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Edna E. Lockwood up on the Chesapeake May Maritime Museum's railway, waiting for relaunch. 

Edna E. Lockwood up on the Chesapeake May Maritime Museum's railway, waiting for relaunch. 

Edna E. Lockwood, a 129-year-old Chesapeake Bay bugeye originally designed for oystering, is ready to start her new life after shipwrights at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, Maryland, spent the last two years replacing her pine log bottom and restoring her topsides, decks and masts.

The project started with a year-long search for pine logs with just the right dimensions. Once the perfect grove of loblolly pines had been found on the Lower Eastern Shore, the trees were felled and then stored in St. Michaels Harbor for the winter to preserve them.

The following spring, shipwrights started mixing and matching nine of the logs to fit Edna’s original dimensions before rough-cutting them to the shape of the hull. The logs were then pinned together with steel rods and further shaped with adzes, axes, chainsaws, planers and whatever else the crew could get their hands on.

This past spring the two halves of Edna—her decks and topsides and her new log bottom—were joined and shipwrights began work on restoring the rest of the structure. Now, she’s ready for primetime.

Crews will launch her back into the water as part of CBMM’s OysterFest this coming Saturday, October 27, at 3 p.m. The public is welcome. Tickets range from $6 to $18 and includes museum admission. Tasty, oyster-themed food and drinks are available at extra cost. For more information, visit cbmm.org/events/annual-festivals-and-special-events/oysterfest.

You can read more about the restoration process herehere and here