The Shipyard team began work on the new construction build last fall after finishing up its build of Maryland Dove and worked over the past year under the direction of Shipyard Foreman Jeff Reed to bring the vessel to life.
A contract build for owners Grigg and Cindy Mullen of Lexington, Va., Mr. Dickie will be on display later this month at the Sultana Downrigging Festival in Chestertown before returning to dock at CBMM.
“Grigg provided the opportunity for us to have our Shipyard team do a complete build from start to finish, creating a unique object in a way that realizes Grigg and our dream of a comprehensive construction that allows for public and Shipwright education,” said Vice President of Shipyard Operations Christian Cabral. “It’s been an incredible experience.”
The construction of the unique vessel in CBMM’s Shipyard offered a glimpse into the past while highlighting the future for a historic style of vessel vital to the story of the Chesapeake Bay.
Buyboats are cross-planked workboats that were traditionally used for hauling oysters from skipjacks to market in season and anything else that needed transporting the rest of the year. Today, there are estimated to be fewer than 30 buyboats that continue to ply the Bay’s waters.
Mr. Dickie pays homage to the 60-foot buyboat Mundy Point, designed to bring the buyboat look to a scaled-down 36-foot version. It was constructed from heart pine, white oak, Atlantic cedar, and western red cedar, and outfitted with a restored late-1930s Buda diesel engine.
A retired engineering professor, Grigg Mullen maintained a hands-on role throughout the yearlong construction, working alongside CBMM’s Shipyard crew whenever his schedule allowed. He and Cindy were on hand for a CBMM Member Night on Oct. 12 celebrating Mr. Dickie and the Oct. 20 launch for the new buyboat that is named in honor of the late Dickie Whaley, Mullen’s neighbor growing up in Queen Anne’s County.
“It’s been a wonderful year building Mr. Dickie and working with the Shipyard folks,” Mullen said. “Every time there was a decision to make, it was always—if we do it this way, it’s going to be better. It’s turned out wonderfully.”
With Mr. Dickie completed, CBMM’s Shipyard will stay busy with a variety of projects heading into the winter months, including on-going work on a pair of buyboats in its historic floating fleet.
Winnie Estelle, CBMM’s passenger-carrying 1920 buyboat, is amidst a refit that includes the removal, fabrication, and replacement of its structural timbers, while 1938 buyboat Choptank is undergoing a final fit out, which involves building out the interior with cabins and heads for expedition-style overnight trips and outfitting it with modern safety equipment and a new rig.
Find more information about CBMM’s Shipyard and its projects at cbmm.org/shipyard.