Chesapeake Bay - Glossary
Chesapeake Bay - Our History and Our Future

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Bugeye Oyster - dredging boat that was made from either logs or planks.
Buster A crab that has begun to shed but is not totally free of its old shell.
Crab pot A square wire cage used to catch crabs.
Culling board A wooden work surface placed side-to-side across a boat, used to sort oysters and crabs.
Culling hammer Tool used to separate clumps of oysters.
Deadrise A sturdy workboat with a V-shaped hull built by the "rack of eye" method.
Dip net A small net with a handle used to scoop crabs from shallow water.
Dredge A metal frame with a net used for scraping oysters from the bottom of the Bay.
Flare The outward curve to keep out water spray.
Float A cork or plastic marker that is attached to a crab pot. It floats above the pot, marking its location. It is also marked to show who owns the crab pot.
Freeboard The distance between the water and the deck of a ship.
Fyke net Smaller cone-shaped net used in rivers and streams to catch fish and eels.
Gill nets netting that fish swim into and get their gills caught in the netting
Hand tongs A scissor-like tool with long handles used for harvesting oysters.
Hard-chine Line of intersections of sides and bottom of a flat-bottomed vessel or boat.
Hawes-pieces On a wooden sailing vessel, these pieces of wood make up a frame that has hawes-holes cut into it. The holes support the anchor chains for the vessel.
Hydraulic dredge Dredge used in harvesting soft crabs. It uses water to free the clams and places them on a conveyer belt.
Jimmie Nickname for a male blue crab.
Knight-heads On a wooden sailing vessel, these pieces of wood placed on either side of the bow and used to support the bowsprit.
Leg-of-mutton sail A fore-and-aft sail of triangular shape set behind the mast in sail boats.
Menhaden An oily, bony fish. It is not edible, but its oil has many uses in industry.
Patent tongs A large scissor-like tool that is used instead of hand tongs. It is raised and lowered by machine.
Peeler Name for a blue crab that is ready to shed its shell.
Plumb The vertical stem of the boat located at the bow.
Pound net A very long net strung between stakes and used to catch fish.
Poquoson log canoe A single-masted sailboat that developed from the Powhatan dugout canoe.
Purse boat One of two boats that pulls the purse seine net in a circle around a school of fish, usually menhaden.
Purse seine net Net used in menhaden fishing that encircles the school of fish.
Rack of eye Technique of building boats without using drawn plans.
Rake The stem that slants forward from the water to the bow.
Sharpie A small boat with a flat bottom and two pointed ends. It is powered by sail or poling.
Shedding float A floating cage or tank used to keep crabs until shedding is complete.
Skiff A small boat with a flat bottom, pointed in the front and square in the back.
Skipjack A wide bottomed sailing boat first used for oyster dredging.
Soft-shell A crab that has shed its shell.
Sook A female blue crab.
Striker-boat The boat used to locate schools of menhaden.
Washboards Planks of wood fixed on top of the gunwales of the boat to give extra space on the deck.
Watermen Men and women who make their living working the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
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