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1920 buyboat joins floating fleet

The historic 1920 Chesapeake Bay buyboat Winnie Estelle arrived this month at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., where she will remain as the new workhorse of museum's floating fleet for scenic Miles River cruises and a wide variety of on-the-water educational programs.

The Winnie Estelle joins the museum’s floating fleet of historic boats, which includes the recently restored 1955 skipjack Rosie Parks; the 1889 nine-log bugeye, the Edna E. Lockwood; the 1912 river tug Delaware; the 1909 seven-log crab dredger Old Point; the 1934 dovetail Martha; the 1931 Potomac River dory boat; and the 1961 tuck-stern, Jackson-built Pot Pie skiff.

The authentic buyboat replaces the museum’s replica buyboat Mister Jim, which has operated as a passenger boat since 1982. The museum currently has the Mister Jim for sale.

“About a month ago, we began fundraising to acquire the Winnie Estelle,” museum president Langley Shook said. “We are so fortunate that a generous donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, stepped right up to purchase her for an undisclosed amount to donate her to the Museum.” The museum will engage in fundraising to build an endowment to cover ongoing and long-term maintenance of the historic buyboat.

During the next few weeks, the Winnie Estelle is expected to receive her U.S. Coast Guard designation as a charter vessel to carry up to 45 passengers. A volunteer corps of Coast Guard-certified captains and their volunteer crew will operate the vessel, with the museum's boatyard handling Winnie’s upkeep and maintenance.

Learn more by visiting the museum in St. Michaels or at