Dovetail boats were built in the early 1900s with gasoline engines and a special stern that looked like a motor racer. Dorothy Lee was built in 1934 for oyster tonging and trotlining for crabs. The vessel’s long, narrow hull and light displacement made it a particularly fast workboat. Speed was the allure for watermen who bought Hoopers Island dovetails, with their distinctive racy round sterns that imitated racing motorboats and the Navy’s torpedo boats from the turn of the century. Dovetails have also variously been called Hoopers Island draketails and torpedo sterns.

Built: 1934, Bishops Head., Md., by Bronza Parks
Length: 41 ft., 2 in. (12.56 m)
Beam: 8 ft., 2 in. (2.56 m)

Dorothy Lee, Hoopers Island dovetail, 1934. Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Md. Gift of Susan Friedel. 2016.