Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Chesapeake Bay workboats were expected to survive a rough working life of about 40 years. Beyond that point, maintaining them usually became fiscally untenable. Some of these craft ended up abandoned in marshes, many were left to rot in their slips and others slowly decayed on land.
That’s why Edna E. Lockwood, a Chesapeake Bay sailing bugeye designed for oystering, is such a remarkable boat. At 128 years old, she is the last surviving log-bottom bugeye in existence and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland, is making sure the old girl gets a new lease on life.
Work began in 2016 to completely replace Edna’s nine-log bottom with loblolly pine trees sourced from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Nearly two years later, the brand-new log bottom and existing topsides have been joined, and shipwrights now are working on re-planking portions of her topsides and repairing rotten areas on deck. This video has an update on the progress.
You can read all about the project by reading Edna E. Lockwood: The Last Of Her Kind, which originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Soundings. A complete update about the project appeared in the February 2018 issue of Soundings.