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‘F.D. Crockett’ and other buyboats will be open for tours at Oyster Festival

The Deltaville Maritime Museum’s F.D. Crockett

The restored 63-foot, log-hulled buyboat “F.D. Crockett” will bring the maritime mission of the Deltaville Maritime Museum to the 56th Annual Urbanna Oyster Festival.

The 89-year-old, nine-log deck boat, one of only three log-hulled buyboats still floating, will be open for tours at the Urbanna Town Marina at Upton’s Point Friday and Saturday, November 1-2, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Crockett also will participate in the Oyster Festival’s Thursday Education Day with the help of the Mathews Maritime Foundation’s buyboat “Peggy.” These classic buyboats and their volunteers will immerse the area students in what it was like to work the water, and demonstrate the way the buyboats were actually used.

An 8-year project and labor of love by the Deltaville Maritime Museum, ongoing project manager and Captain John England and volunteers from the museum’s boat shop, the Crockett is now essentially restored to its original condition. Work is still ongoing on refining details to make it true to its working years. 

John and Vera England and other volunteers from the Maritime Museum will be aboard the Crockett for tours and questions during festival hours Friday and Saturday. The Crockett can be viewed from the dock Thursday evening.

Also the Chesapeake Bay buyboats “Nellie Crockett,” “Thomas J,” and “Propwash” will be open for tours both Friday and Saturday at the marina.

During touring hours, the F.D. Crockett will have aboard information and handouts about the Deltaville Maritime Museum, her preliminary 2014 schedule, and signup information for the museum’s 2014 Family Boatbuilding Week.

The F.D. Crockett was accepted by the museum in 2005 as a donation from Ron Turner of Poquoson. With the exception of her windows and doors, some original hardware and fittings, and the original 9 logs of her bottom, almost everything on the Crockett has been cut, fitted and installed by the volunteers at the Maritime Park and paid for by donations and Crockett apparel sales. 

The F.D. Crockett is called a “buyboat” because of her large decks, pilot house location, and forward mast and boom. She was actually built by her original owner to carry freight, another typical use for these bay beauties. In her later years she operated as a dredge boat and a traditional buyboat, purchasing oysters on the James River.

“We have taken a lot of time and care to restore the Crockett to the way she was when her captain and crew were working her full-time, very true to the history with few frills,” said Capt. England. “We want everyone to be able to experience the Crockett as she was when she was a workboat. The Crockett was not a yacht, she was, and is, a workboat.”

Capt. England added, “Now that the restoration is done, folks think we don’t need any more help, monetarily or otherwise. It’s one thing to restore her, but keeping her up is paramount and not inexpensive. Please keep up the donations and we also need volunteers.”

For those of you interested in the complete restoration history, access the F.D. Crockett blog.

Visit the Deltavile Maritime Museum website for more information about the Deltaville Maritime Museum and all the things it does, including the Crockett.

Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park is a non-profit organization at 287 Jackson Creek Road and on Mill Creek. Turn right off Route 33 across from the Shell Station to get there.

For more information, email or call 776-7200.

posted 10.30.2013

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