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Old Point

Old Point dredging for crabs on the lower Chesapeake Bay, c. 1920. Photographer unknown. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels MD. Gift of Norma and William Carmine.
Old Point dredging for crabs on the lower Chesapeake Bay, c. 1920. Photographer unknown. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels MD. Gift of Norma and William Carmine.

Old Point was one of a fleet of crab dredging boats that operated out of Hampton, Virginia, at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay from the 1910s through the 1960s. From December through March, captains and crews lived on their boats so they could leave early every morning and dredge for crabs all day.

In the summer and fall, Old Point carried fish and oysters to packing houses or to market. Old Point’s hull was built the old-fashioned way, hewn from seven pine logs. At that time big logs were hard to get, but watermen still preferred a solid log boat if they could get one.

“[He] had transitions all during the year from fish, to oysters, to crabs. And at the beginning of every season, he would have a sick stomach and throw up for about a week or two.”
-William Carmine remembering his father-in-law, Captain Ernest Bradshaw, owner of Old Point, 2000

Built: 1909, Poquoson, VA

Length: 51 ft, 9 in (15.82 m)

Beam: 12 ft, 11 in (3.70 m)

Draft: 4 ft, 5 in (1.37 m)

Old Point, crab dredger, 1909. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD.Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. duPont. 84-30-1.

Donations to the Annual Fund generously support the maintenance of Old Point, as well as our other restoration, education, and exhibition programs.

Take a cruise aboard Old Point on a private charter for up to 6 people. For details, pricing, and reservations, contact Captain Joe Connor at jconnor@cbmm.org.

See more photos of Old Point in this Flickr Album:
Floating Fleet: Old Point, 1909 Crab Dredger