Volunteer is a replica of Leon Marsh’s 1990 Smith Island box-stern crab scrape Darlene, as documented in Paula J. Johnson’s book “The Workboats of Smith Island.” In the shallow waters around Smith Island, watermen harvest crabs in this type of workboat. 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 in 2002 by CBMM boat shop volunteers and staff under the supervision of Tom Howell, the boat was intended for on-water use by CBMM.
Built: 2002, St. Michaels, Md., by CBMM Shipyard volunteers and staff
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 Replica, 2006. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Md.