Over my 40 years of exploring the Chesapeake region, I’ve often seen these once- proud vessels reduced to derelicts. Called deadrises, due to the configuration of their hulls, they are well suited to the bay’s short, choppy seas and shoal waters. Constructed of native wood and built by local craftsmen, they are perfectly suited for harvesting the bounty of the Chesapeake. They could easily be adapted for fishing, crabbing, clamming, and oystering and were beloved by their owners. In 1988 Virginia voted to make these vessels the official state boat.
After many years of working the water, many are rendered exhausted and unseaworthy. Their youth and strength behind them, they may rest where they sank or perhaps were dragged upon a nameless muddy shore – what remains of their soul slowly drifting away with each ebbing tide.
Oil on linen 16” x 20” Framed Overall 23” x 27” $5,500