Preview: Billy Moore Builds a Chesapeake Deadrise named MARINER

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, an 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..

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9 Responses So Far to “Billy Moore Builds a Chesapeake Deadrise named MARINER

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    steve schwartz says:

    No school like the Old school. Great video and craftsmanship.

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    Peter Paradis says:

    enjoyed the heck out of that.. a true craftsman….keep them coming

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    Kip Otteson says:

    I always love these gems you guys post. Keep them coming.

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    Gene Nelson says:

    I lived in Annapolis for 25 yrs and never knew they were built by eye ! Enjoyed the video .

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    terry finley says:

    Great video!
    A real craftsman at work.
    The music was good, too!

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    Ken Sloan says:

    Wonderful. Really conveys how a man and a boat kind of “build each other”. I’ve never seen the “unexplainable” explained so well.

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    George Johnson says:

    REALLY enjoyed this video!!
    Being on the Gulf Coast Im familiar with oystering. They don’t use tongs down here, just drag the bottom with what looks like a part off of a front end loader. I think I prefer the way they do it on the Chesapeake. Looks like the RIGHT way.
    Geo. Johnson

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    Mike Lewis says:

    Thanks so much Maynard. I like that the story told the ‘why’ of traditional boat building as well showing the ‘how’. Billy was a good hand with the adz — right to the line.