Plans in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Collection

Howard Chapelle documented and published plans for dozens of Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore sailing workboats.  In a 1956 issue of Boats magazine, he published his own design for a 14 ft. Chesapeake sharpie with one sail.  Chapelle’s plan was re-published in Duckworks Magazine.  I know of just one build documented here in 2011.

In autumn 2023, I found Chapelle plans for this 18 ft two-sail Chesapeake sharpie which I believe have never been published.  Like the 14 ft. sharpie, it appears to be Chapelle’s own design.  He doesn’t reference any existing boat, builder, or date for this design.

This is a true sharpie with flat bottom and raked transom that is typical of Chesapeake models.  The sail and rig plan allow for the foremast to be stepped forward for use with the mainmast or farther aft when sailing with a single mas.  This is similar to the sail plan for the deadrise crabbing skiff which Chapelle documented in Figure 4 of Chesapeake Bay Crabbing Skiffs.


CBMM Catalog Item: 18 ft. Two-Mast Sharpie by Howard Chapelle


Large-format images of the sail plan above and the plans below are here.

CBMM Catalog No. :

18′ Sharpie – Profile and Sail Plan

Chapelle, Howard I.

CBMM Description:
A) 18′ sharpie, profile and sailplan. Complete plans with building specs and instructions.
B) Profile, deck and lumber specs, and hardware.
C) Profile, deck and body, table of offsets. 3/4″ scale.
Condition: Good, some yellowing and wear on edges. Material: Pencil on tracing paper.
Dim-Eng : 18.000in x 20.000in
Credit Line : Gift of Howard I Chapelle

More about CBMM Collections

Items that are not exhibited around the CBMM campus are kept in the Norman & Ellen Plummer Center for Museum Collections.  This is a climate-controlled facility that was expanded and modernized in 2023.

You can search all the collections online here.  Look for the links at lower left to search these collections separately:

  • Objects, Photographs, Manuscripts, Ships Plans
  • Regional Oral History Database
  • Books and Periodicals

See my CBMM Collections Search Tips.

The collections and library are accessible only by appointment.  Email or visit the Library and Research page.

Voile-Aviron | Sail & Oar


I also write about sail-and-oar cruising in small open boats on the Chesapeake and its tributaries at  Sail+Oar – Chesapeake Log.