ISLAND IMAGE (log canoe)
Wilkins Lane (MD 664), Piney Grove, Kent County
ISLAND IMAGE is a sailing log canoe built in 1885 at Elliot's Island, Maryland by Herman Jones and Isaac Moore. Built as a Pocomoke-style canoe, she has been rebuilt to join the racing fleet as a Tilghman-style canoe with carvel-fitted rising strakes. She is 29'-8 1/2" long with a beam of 5-10 1/4", and has a straight, raking stem and a sharp stern. The canoe is privately owned, and races under No. 17. She is distinctive for her dark blue hull, the only one in the fleet. The canoe shows typical log construction with evidence remaining of shiplap fastenings, as she originally had lapstrake (shiplap) rising strakes in typical Pocomoke-style building. When rebuilt in 1971, the canoe was re-topped with cedar topsides (which are now fiberglassed), new decks, and new sawn hanging knees and a full frame. Her construction is particularly sturdy at the bow.
This vessel is significant as being one of the last 22 surviving traditional Chesapeake Bay racing log canoes that carry on a tradition of racing on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that has existed since the 1840s. In addition, it is a surviving representative of the oldest indigenous type of boat on the Bay--the working log canoe--which was developed in the 17th century by early European settlers from the aboriginal dugout canoe. ISLAND IMAGE is significant for being one of the oldest surviving members of the racing fleet and for being the only Pocomoke-style canoe in the fleet, with the "stick-up" Pocomoke rig. When she was purchased in 1971 she had been stripped down to her five-log hull, but the original logs were in good condition. Her topsides were completely rebuilt at Sam McQuay's boatyard in Tilghman. Despite local tradition that a blue-hulled boat brings bad luck, ISLAND IMAGE has a blue hull. She used to sport yellow sails, another unusual feature, and will do so soon again. She is one of the few canoes in the fleet without a longhead, it having been removed.