From dories and deadrises to bugeyes and buyboats, a diverse array of boats were birthed in the Chesapeake region. Though the heyday of boatbuilding has passed, there are still many places where you can learn about these ships and their stories.
Discover a rich maritime world at spots like the Watermen’s Museum and the Calvert Marine Museum, where the Chesapeake’s historic boatbuilding culture comes alive through exhibits, hands-on activities, and even a few trips out on the water.
At these museums and historic sites, you’ll explore a world where shipbuilders engineered new kinds of boats to meet the needs of men working a plentiful Bay. These locations preserve the region’s boatbuilding tradition and honor those who built the Chesapeake’s storied skipjacks, skiffs, and schooners.
The Bay’s fabled boatbuilding tradition is yours to explore at the top places for learning how to build a boat.
The Annapolis Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving and commemorating the maritime heritage of Annapolis and the neighboring waters of the Chesapeake Bay and features rotating exhibits celebrating the area's unique maritime heritage.
The Calvert Marine Museum invites you to explore how our prehistoric past, natural environment, and maritime heritage come together to tell a unique story of the Chesapeake Bay.
Introducing visitors to the Bay story, and telling the Chesapeake's maritime history on the Eastern Shore. The museum houses examples of historic bay working boats, exhibits, guns, decoys, ship models and the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse.
Just off the Chesapeake Bay in the heart of Deltaville, Virginia, the Museum and Park offer a unique opportunity to enjoy the "Boat Building" history of our area and the serenity of "river' life.
Best known for the fast sailing schooners built and equipped there, Fell's Point was a center for privateering and the slave trade, and played an important role in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
The Havre de Grace Maritime Museum collects, documents, preserves and interprets the maritime skills and cultural heritage of the Lower Susquehanna and Upper Chesapeake Bay region.
Jamestown Settlement is a historical site and museum at the site of the first successful English settlement on the mainland of North America. Expansive exhibits trace Jamestown's beginnings in England and the first century of the Virginia colony.
One of the largest and most comprehensive maritime history museums in the world, The Mariners' houses a treasure trove of items inspired by human experience with the sea.
Sail aboard a genuine Chesapeake skipjack to learn about the rich maritime heritage of the Bay. A volunteer crew takes visitors out for two-hour sails on the Nathan from its home port in Cambridge, Maryland.
The Reedville Fishermen's Museum sits in one of the most active fishing ports in America, telling the story of menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake. The museum houses a collection of artifacts and historical material.
A Waterman's Museum Dedicated to Jim Richardson and the Craftsmen and Culture of Traditional Eastern Shore Boatbuilding.
This traditional 18th century ship, based out of Chestertown, Maryland, sails the Bay providing hands-on education in the history and natural environment of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.
Martha Lewis is a V-bottom, two sail bateau (skipjack). She is one of the few remaining working dredge boats that make up the Chesapeake Bay oyster fleet -- the last to fish commercially, under sail, in the United States of America.
Small museum on Smith Island, home to many working watermen, tells the story of working and living on the Bay.
Located in Yorktown, the Watermen's Museum demonstrates the role that Chesapeake Bay watermen played in the shaping of our nation through a historical display of crafts and methods of their trade.