Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes are unique to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Originally built for oystering and other commercial seafood transport in the 1800’s, only a few dozen have survived from the tens of thousands built.
Somehow, the boats were modified with bigger rigs, increased sail area, deeper centerboards, and added hiking boards for racing purposes. The races take place in St. Michaels, Oxford, Cambridge and Chestertown, MD. The races began in the 1840’s and continue during the summer months today. There are approx. 21 boats active today, some of which are over 100 years old.
The boats are called Log Canoes since the hulls are constructed using five pine logs connected with Iron Pins. The boats are very unstable and capsizes are common, especially on jibes. This capsized occurred in 20 knots of wind. Boatspeed maxed at 9.5MPH on the narrow Miles River prior to the wreck. The boat is the Oliver’s Gift with 51′ overall length, built in 1947. As you might guess, they do tip over, but aren’t quite self righting. Hey where’d the rig go? There are a bunch more great shots here. Photos by Tim and Kristen Mangus.