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Winnie Estelle Buyboat History

Winnie Estelle with a deckload of oysters in Annapolis, MD, c. 1968. Photograph by Ernest Tucker, 1968. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD. Gift of Jane Tucker.
Winnie Estelle with a deckload of oysters in Annapolis, MD, c. 1968. Photograph by Ernest Tucker, 1968. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD. Gift of Jane Tucker.

Built in 1920 by Noah T. Evans, a native Smith Islander, Winnie Estelle was named for his two daughters. Evans was an occasional boatbuilder; his principal occupation was operating buyboats—buying fish and oysters directly from watermen, and taking them to the city markets
or to big seafood packing houses for sale.

Winnie Estelle’s last owners on the Chesapeake were Smith Islanders Watson Marie Marshall, known as “Shug,” and his son Eugene “Gene” Marshall. They bought Winnie Estelle in 1960 and frequently took her across the Bay to pick up fish scraps for rendering, to sell oysters, or to travel to the waterfront fish market in Washington, DC. When the Marshalls sold her in 1975, Winnie was taken to the Caribbean as a cargo boat. Years later she was rebuilt for use as a charter boat in Belize. She returned to the Chesapeake in 2012.

Built: 1920, Crisfield or Smith Island, MD by Noah Evans

Length: 64 ft, 9 in (19.78 m)

Beam: 16 ft, 3 in (4.97 m)

Draft: 3 ft, 6 in (1.09 m)

Winnie Estelle, buyboat, 1920. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, MD. Museum purchase, 2014.

Purchase your boarding passes and find more information about seasonal, weekend scenic river cruises aboard Winnie Estelle here.

Winnie Estelle also hosts ecology cruises and private charters along the Miles River throughout the warmer months. Learn more about making your memories with a private charter aboard Winnie Estelle here.

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

See our Flickr Album of Winnie Estelle photos:

Floating Fleet: Winnie Estelle, 1920 Buy Boat