The Pickerell Garvey - Soundings Online

The Pickerell Garvey

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Pickerell lofts his garveys from full-size patterns that he has drawn in a variety of lengths. He builds a vee-bottom garvey with an 18-degree deadrise at the bow tapering to 12 degrees at the stern.

Pickerell lofts his garveys from full-size patterns that he has drawn in a variety of lengths. He builds a vee-bottom garvey with an 18-degree deadrise at the bow tapering to 12 degrees at the stern. He says the “chicken-breasted” bow makes the vessel more seaworthy, dryer and stronger. He says the shape pushes easily and doesn’t “dig a hole” in the water.

The flat-bottomed garvey has a similar bow, then flattens out halfway to the stern. Pressure-treated yellow pine framing and AC plywood are assembled with stainless steel screws and bolts, and epoxy using the WEST SYSTEM.

He fiberglasses the sides, deck (if there is one) and bottom inside and out, creating a glass-wood composite. He adds a urethane coating to prevent moisture from getting through to the plywood structure.

Though there are many design variations, the original features that make a boat a garvey are a blunt bow with low freeboard, a progressive vee, and a substantial deadrise forward.

Like most older workboats the design, history and name of the garvey could prompt a discussion. In “The National Watercraft Collection,” author Howard Chapelle says the motorized version originated in southern New Jersey, and spread to Delaware, Maryland and Virginia along Atlantic beaches and inlets, replacing earlier sailing garveys. In Maryland and Virginia, it was used in oyster fisheries, particularly near Chincoteague Island.

“The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest,” reporting on the issuance of a 1999 stamp design depicting waterfowl and “a baymen’s boat called the garvey,” said that the boat traces its origins and name to Jarvis (Gervas) Pharo, who settled in southern New Jersey in the early 1700s.