The Small Boat Shed is home to skiffs and other small craft that watermen used around the Chesapeake Bay for fishing, oystering, and crabbing. Most of the displayed boats were locally built, with designs that were adapted for available materials, water conditions, boatbuilding techniques, and local preferences. Over time, so many log canoes and V-bottom boats were built that they became particularly identified with the Chesapeake region. While some of these boats were built for a specific fishery, many were versatile enough to be used for a different purpose if a fishery declined. Though all these boats started in commercial fisheries, many ended their sailing days as pleasure boats.
Learn about the history of the Small Boat Shed building here.