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Volunteer Replica

Watermen scraping for crabs in the grassy shallows of Tangier Sound, MD, c. 1979. Photograph by John Hurt Whitehead, III. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD. Gift of the photographer.
Watermen scraping for crabs in the grassy shallows of Tangier Sound, MD, c. 1979. Photograph by John Hurt Whitehead, III. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD. Gift of the photographer.

In the shallow waters around Smith Island, watermen harvest crabs in boats like this replica. Dragging a special dredge called a crab scrape behind the boat, they rake up peeler crabs hiding on the bottom. The boats have a low draft, allowing them to get around in shallow water, where blue crabs hide in eelgrass to shed their shells. The low sides on the boat make it easier to pull the crab scrape up over the side.

Built: 2002, St. Michaels, MD by volunteers and staff of the CBMM Boatyard

Length: 29 ft, 4 in (8.96 m)

Beam: 10 ft, 3 in (3.14 m)

Draft: 1 ft, 8 in (0.55 m)

Volunteer, Smith Island Crab Scraping Boat, 2002.

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