FANNIE L. DAUGHERTY (skipjack)
Lower Thorofare, Wenona, Somerset County
This oyster dredgeboat is a 41.3' long, two-sail bateau, or V-bottom deadrise type of centerboard sloop, commonly referred to as a skipjack. She is built by cross-planked construction methods and has a beam of 8' and a depth of 3.6'. The vessel was built in 1904 in Crisfield, Maryland, for the oyster dredge fleet. With a gross register tonnage of 8 tons, she carries a typical skipjack rig--a jib-headed mainsail laced to the boom and carried on wood hoops at the mast, and a single large jib with a club on its foot. The vessel is painted white, with dark tan trim on the caprail. In shape, the vessel has a longhead bow with a straight, almost plumb, stem. Her transom stern is low and sharply raking with a shallow "tuck" at the waterline. The hull is relatively straight-sided, with an overlapped sheer log. The rudder is carried well inboard and a "jig" for the pushboat is centered on the transom. The vessel is flush-decked with a main cabin with an added "doghouse" with three windows. She is fitted out for oystering with winders, a box over the winders, dredges, etc. There is a pushboat suspended on davits over the stern. The single mast is set up with double shrouds and deadeyes. The long boom is jawed to the mast. There is an octagonal bowsprit with wood "runners" along its sides; it is set up with double chain bowsprit shrouds and bobstays. Decorations include carved and painted trailboards with the name FANNIE L. DAUGHERTY in red on a green background, with a shield and arrows motif also in red and green.
This vessel is significant as being one of the 36 surviving traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjacks and a member of the last commercial sailing fleet in the United States. Out of a fleet of hundreds of skipjacks that worked Bay waters in the early years of the 20th century, today only this small number remain to carry on the tradition of working sail. FANNIE L. DAUGHERTY is of interest as being one of the older skipjacks still dredging in the Chesapeake fleet. She was built in 1904 in Crisfield, Maryland, following traditional Bay-area design and construction methods. She has worked in the oyster-dredging fleet since her building and is presently based at Deal Island. The vessel is one of the 19 surviving working skipjacks to have been built previous to 1912, although, like the other members of the fleet, she has been much repaired over the years. A recent addition is a "doghouse" added to the top of the cabin to increase the comfort of the skipper. The lines of the FANNIE L. DAUGHERTY were used in 1955 as the basis for the skipjack H.M. KRENTZ, built in Harryhogan, Virginia.