World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Chesapeake Bay deadrise

Article Id: WHEBN0007902865
Reproduction Date:

Title: Chesapeake Bay deadrise  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Log canoe, Chesapeake Bay, Oyster farming, Fishing vessels, Oyster buy-boat
Collection: Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay Boats, Fishing Vessels
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Chesapeake Bay deadrise

Deadrise workboat Capt. Colby at Tyler's Beach near Smithfield, VA.

The Chesapeake Bay deadrise or deadrise workboat is a type of traditional fishing boat used in the Chesapeake Bay. Watermen use these boats year round for everything from crabbing and oystering to catching fish or eels.

Traditionally wooden hulled, the deadrise is characterised by a sharp bow that quickly becomes a flat V shape moving aft along the bottom of the hull. A small cabin structure lies forward and a large open cockpit and work area aft.

The deadrise workboat is the official boat of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


  • Characteristics 1
  • History 2
  • References 3


Deadrise is the angle of the bottom of the hull in a cross-section view.

"Deadrise" refers to the line rising upward horizontally from the keel rabbet (the point where the top of the keel connects to the hull) to the chine (or sideboards). It rises on each side of the keel in a straight line, or "dead rise," creating the flat V shape of the bottom of the hull. The bottom of the hull is planked in a herring bone pattern with planks running diagonally from keel to chine. The sides are planked longitudinally. As a result it is both useful in shallows and very forgiving when the Bay turns rough.

Though earlier types such as skipjacks shared a similar hull form, the term "deadrise workboat" is generally understood to refer to more recent engine-powered vessels.


The design and construction of deadrise workboats evolved from the sailing skipjacks. One of the first types of purpose-built small powered fishing boats to appear on the Chesapeake Bay were the Hooper Island draketails of the 1920s and 1930s. The Hooper Island draketails featured construction similar to the sailing skipjacks, but were narrower as stability was not needed to carry a sail and a narrow hull made best use of the limited power from the available gasoline engines. As higher power engines became available, hulls became wider. Higher powered engines permitted higher speeds, which required sterns that were wider and flatter under the waterline to prevent the stern from squatting down in the water at higher speeds.


  • "Deadrise". Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  • "The Development of the Deadrise Workboat". The Mariners' Museum. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  • "Congressman Tom Davis: Virginia Facts (Indicates status as official boat of Virginia)". US House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 

Howard I.Chappelle, “American Small Sailing Craft”, W. M. Norton & Company, 1951.

Paula J. Johnson, “The Workboats of Smith Island”, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.