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Chesapeake Bay Workboats

The Pungy

The pungy is a smaller form of schooner developed on the Chesapeake Bay to dredge oysters and carry bulk cargo. It was developed in the 1840s and into the 1850s in the Accomac region of Virginia's Eastern Shore. The name is believed to come from Pungoteague, an area in Accomac County, Virginia. This workboat has a heavy bowsprit with narrow lines down its sides. The deck is flush and the mast is raking. The pungy was a common site in Baltimore's harbor during World War I and up until the 1930s. The most unusual cargo carried by the pungy was pineapple picked green in Bermuda and delivered to Baltimore - the fruit ripened as it traveled. The problem came in heavy seas, when the pungy's lowboards allowed wash over the decks and ruined the fruit below. The use of the pungy eventually gave way to the newly developed boats like the bugeye and the skipjack.

Continue to: The Bugeye



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