The F.D. Crockett
A Restored Chesapeake Buy Boat
A Chesapeake Bay buy boat, often called a deck boat because of its large decks, is a type of motor-powered workboat once used for transporting freight throughout the Chesapeake region. It has an aft pilot house and a mast and boom for hauling about seafood and cargo. Before hand-sawing planks was efficient, some early buy boats were converted from log sailing vessels or, like the F.D. Crockett, were built from logs that were shaped and pinned together. The F.D. Crockett, one of the last and largest built, is the last remaining log-hulled buy boat in Virginia.
Working the Water
Built in 1924, the F.D. Crockett was first used to carry freight from farms to port towns and cities. For nearly 100 years the boat was economically profitable, used to haul goods, produce and livestock, to buy and sell oysters, and to dredge in the winter for crabs or oysters. Eventually her usefulness was replaced by trucks as bridges and highways reached the area. In 2005 the F.D. Crockett was donated as a derelict to the Deltaville Maritime Museum. After 7 years and 10,000 hours of volunteer labor she
Type of vessel: Poquoson-style log "canoe" built for internal combustion engine
Built: in 1924 by Alex Gaines and John Franklin Smith in Dare, York County, Virginia
Length: 62' 8"
Width: 5' 8"
Weight: 16 tons
Log Hull: Built with 9 logs (pine); sides originally chunk-built
Keel (longest) log: 55 feet
Original power: 24 hp Lathrop gasoline engine
Current power: (since WWII) Gray Marine 6-71 diesel with twin disc transmission
Cruising speed: 7½ knots
After 81 years of use as a tractor-trailer of the bay, a disintegrating F.D. Crockett was towed to Deltaville for restoration. She was rebuilt from her historic log bottom up.
Circa 1939, the F.D. Crockett is docked next to her sister log boat Catherine, also built by Alex Gaines, at a Hampton Creek oyster packing house during the winter oyster dredging season. The P.E. Pruitt and the Iva W., other Middlesex boats still in existence today, are rafted alongside.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1924.
Location. 37° 33.138′ N, 76° 19.37′ W. Marker is in Deltaville, Virginia, in Middlesex County. Marker can be reached from Jackson Creek Road (Virginia Route 660) 0.2 miles north of Orchard Lane, in the median. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 287 Jackson Creek Rd, Deltaville VA 23043, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fish Story (within shouting distance of this marker); Oyster Tonging (within shouting distance of this marker); Ruark Sculpture Garden (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Compass Rose (about 300 feet away); Flagpole and Flag Etiquette (about 400 feet away); Confederate Boarding Cutter (about 500 feet away); Oyster Tongs (about 600 feet away); Boarding Cutter (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Deltaville.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 117 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 27, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.