Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Small Boats Collection

Visitor Experience


Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
213 N. Talbot St.
P.O. Box 636
St. Michaels, MD 21663
410-745-2916

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Small Boat ShedDisplayed in the Small Boat Shed is a variety of working and recreational Chesapeake small watercraft. Several log canoes illustrate the adaptation of this Native American design by the English into a workboat they used for oystering, fishing, and traveling. Here you will also find simple skiffs used for oystering, fishing, and crabbing.

Three Smith Island crabbing skiffs appear as if tied to the dock at Crisfield’s Maryland Crabmeat Company, once one of the largest seafood packing houses in the town that called itself the Seafood Capital. Crab picking is detailed work, almost always done by women. From the lockers where they left their belongings to the table where they picked crabmeat into graded containers, the essential contents of a crabmeat plant are all here. The equipment, from a Quik Pik machine that sought to replace the workers to the big cooker – are interpreted in the words of these workers from the museum’s oral history collection.

Through the award-winning hands-on program, Chesapeake's Best Crabcakes: A Study in Geography, Social Studies, and Economics, students can learn about geography, social studies and economics by following the Chesapeake blue crab on its journey from the brackish Bay to our picnic tables, including picking stuffed crabs at a packing house.

Anchor and small boatCrab Picker