In 2024 the Deltaville Maritime Museum is celebrating the 100th birthday of the nine-log hull F. D. Crockett. Photo courtesy of Deltaville Maritime Museum

Deltaville to Celebrate 100th Birthday of Unique Nine-Log Hulled Workboat, F.D. Crockett

The nine log hull buyboat F. D. Crockett (1924) is a century old this year and still going strong! This boat is one of the last few of her kind left, and her caretakers want to make sure she sticks around.

The Deltaville Maritime Museum (DMM) is holding a 100th birthday celebration for sponsors and for descendants of the captains and builders of the vessel on June 15th, 2024, at the museum. In addition to celebrating the life of the boat, the museum will establish an endowment to further the maritime life of one of the most unique deck boats on the Chesapeake Bay.

F. D. Crockett,  along with Old Point (1909) which is owned by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, are the last two large log hull deck boats built specifically for motor power. The Wm. B. Tennison (1899) is a log hull deck boat originally built as a sailing vessel and converted to power. This jewel of a vessel is well maintained and owned by the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons.

During the transition from wind and sail power to motor-powered boats, there was a narrow window (1900s into 1920s) when traditional log canoe builders, particularly in the Poquoson, Virginia area, were able to compete against builders across the Bay who built large deck boats powered by motors and built out of planks. The F. D. Crockett was worked continuously until 1996 as a freight boat, oyster buyboat, and eventually as a dredge boat, her low decks easily recognizable on the lower Bay.

F. D. Crockett and Old Point are the last two large log hull freight boats of that kind still afloat. The vessels are amazing examples of the few boats built in that short window in Bay maritime boatbuilding history.   

The F. D. Crockett was donated to the DMM in 2005 with a horde of naysayers across the Bay questioning the museum’s ability and means to support the restoration of such a boat. The reconstruction came about because the community embraced the project with donated funds, thousands of hours of donated boatbuilding talent, and free railway time by local boatyards.

   The restored F. D. Crockett was dedicated in 2011 to “boatbuilders and watermen of the Chesapeake Bay and the families who keep the history alive.” Thousands of volunteer labor hours brought her to National Landmark status in 2012. The vessel is now a maritime ambassador for the museum and travels annually to different ports on the Bay as an example of that watermark era in bay boatbuilding history.

Those wishing to donate to the “F. D. Crockett’s 100th Year Preservation Endowment” can contact the Deltaville Maritime Museum, P. O. Box 466, Deltaville, Va. 23043, Phone: (804) 776-7200; or