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Chesapeake Bay Buyboats, 2nd Edition

Chesapeake Bay Buyboats, 2nd Edition

Larry S. Chowning

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Buyboat is the most familiar term for a particular style of traditional Chesapeake workboat, but it suggests only one of many jobs done by these versatile craft. As buyboats, they bought seafood from watermen working small boats, then transported and sold the catch to packing houses or city merchants. As run boats or runners, they were the company-owned vessels that transferred the catch to the company docks. As freight boats or bay freighters, they hauled many things from here to there—watermelons, lumber, coal, canning supplies—often doing the work that would later be taken over by trucks. As packet boats, they carried mail, supplies, and passengers between the mainland and the bay’s island communities. They served under the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II, at least one was officially a school boat, and an untold number of them may have run rum in the days of Prohibition. If those were not enough names, their builders called them deck boats, because the hulls were decked over to create cargo holds, allowing the boats to work in many bay fisheries.

Size: 8 1/2″ X 11″ | 182 b/w photos & 12 illustrations | Vessel list/index | 242 pp
ISBN13: 9780764337024 | Binding: hard cover

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Larry S. Chowning is a reporter for the Southside Sentinel in Urbanna, Virginia. He has been covering the Chesapeake Bay’s fisheries for regional and national periodicals for more than a decade. As field editor of National Fisherman, he traveled extensively in Maryland and Virginia. Besides covering the more publicized events related to the fisheries, Chowning has specialized in the human stories found on the backroads of the Chesapeake Bay region. His travels have provided the raw material for numerous articles and short stories about bay life and lore. Chowning is the author of a number of books about the Chesapeake Bay region, including Chesapeake Bay Buyboats, Chesapeake Legacy, Deadrise and Cross-planked, and Soldiers at the Doorstep.