During the annual Oyster Festival in Urbana, Virginia, the waterfront on Urbana Creek becomes a busy harbor. Most are boaters who elect to cruise into the festival and stay aboard their boats. There were, however, several boats on display, plus other boats, especially working boats, that are home-ported in Urbana.
Among the boats on display and available to tour were the river work boat F.D. Crockett sand the Tall Ship Lynx. The Lynx is a three-quarter scale schooner; an American privateer (see separate article).
The F.D. Crockett
The F.D. Crockett is a 63-foot work boat built in 1924 and fully restored in the early 2000s.
Originally built to haul freight—farm produce and other goods—around the Chesapeake Bay and up into the rivers, such as the Rappahannock, that flow into the bay. Originally built for Ferdinand Desota Crockett of Seaford, Delaware, it was later sold and converted to an oyster dredge vessel. The broad, heavy, flat log bottom of the vessel made it very stable for oyster dredging. It may also have acted as a buy-boat that visited the smaller oyster rowboats to purchase their catch right on the water and take them to market.
The F.D. Crockett was later converted to a pleasure boat (1994). In 2005, it was donated to the Deltaville Maritime Museum. It had deteriorated severely, and it took more than 8,500 hours of volunteer time to rebuild the upper structures of the vessel, including pilot house.
The original bottom of the hull is constructed on nine logs, the longest being some 55 feet long. The vessel was designed and built to be powered by a gasoline engine.
Today, the meticulously restored vessel serves as a museum ship, interpreting the history of commercial boating on the Chesapeake Bay. It routinely visits the annual Oyster Festival in Urbana, as well as other events around the bay. When not attending an event, it is moored at the Deltaville Maritime Museum, Deltaville, Virginia.
Around the Waterfront
The gallery of photos below includes views along the Urbana, Virginia, waterfront.