Preview: Billy Moore Builds a Chesapeake Deadrise named MARINER

March 2, 2014

Avatar Maynard Bray

I‘ve admired this video ever since it was produced, and was delighted to discover it the other day on YouTube. Both the film and the boat depicted in it were sponsored by The Mariners’ Museum some 30 years ago when Bill Wilkinson was its Director and Joyce Royer its Curator. The film is narrated by boatbuilder/waterman Billy Moore himself, and flashes back and forth between building the boat and showing how it’s used: tonging for oysters on the James River in lower Chesapeake Bay. Billy built MARINER by what he calls “rack of eye,” starting with the backbone; continuing with the upside-down bottom, which he turns right side-up after it’s planked; then goes on to completion. MARINER, after her launching and brief use, has been on exhibit, along with a great collection of small craft, at this noteworthy maritime museum that’s located in Newport News, Va..

Check this one out. You’ll see a builder who doesn’t waste time even though he splines the topsides planks! I think you will agree that the viewing is a half hour well spent.

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