The Foggy River
The Foggy River is a deadrise (v-bottom with cross planking) open boat with a small cabin forward – typical to some degree of the type still seen today. She has a distinctly graceful sheer (the upward curve of the deck from stern to bow), an unusually pronounced but attractive flare to her sides near the bow, and a round stern. These characteristics were common in the mid-20th century and, except for the round stern, precursors of later designs. This design permitted the boat to lie stern to the sea more comfortably while working than a square or box stern boat, but this construction became too complex and expensive in later years.
The Foggy River is very much a Reedville product. Her design was a collaborative effort between two local residents, her owner Charles Bowles, and her builder, George Butler, the second of the three generations of the family to own and operate the Reedville Marine Railway. As was and is the custom at the shop, there were no plans on paper, just discussions prior to and during the construction as the boat took shape.
The materials for the project were cut locally from timberland owned by the Lillian Lumber Company, which in turn sawed the logs to Mr. Butler’s specifications. The boards were then stacked to dry in a shed on Cockrell’s Creek. The Foggy River was used by Captain Bowles for a number of decades until he retired. George Verlander later discovered her lying unused near the Corrotoman River. When her engine finally failed, he donated the boat to the museum
The Foggy River is currently a restoration project so that she can become a floating classroom, exhibiting the different equipment and rigging used in pound net fishing, crab dredging, oystering and crab potting. Thanks to a generous donation in 2014 from the United States Federation of Friends of Museums, and hard work by museum volunteers, this project should be ready to be opened to the public later this year
May, 2014 – The Foggy River has had its new deck installed. Boat is currently at the Reedville Railway getting its hull caulked and painted.