Little Choptank River Flattie

Plans in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Collection

Howard Chapelle measured and published plans for two different crabbing flatties with a “stick-up” or “jigger” headsail that is unique among Bay skiffs. [1]  According to Chapelle, “stick-up rigged flattie skiffs were highly regarded and did not go wholly out of use until the motorboat drove sail out. The skiffs were particularly approved of for weatherliness in a fresh wind, and some were said to be able to go to windward in strong winds under the stick-up sail alone, which seems impossible theoretically.”  [2]

The two plans for stick-up flatties which Chapelle published show a single leg-of-mutton mainsail. Chapelle mentions that stick-up headsails were used with two-masted log canoes built betwen the Nanticoke and Pokomoke Rivers. [3]  But no plans, photos, or documentation of a two-masted stick-up flat-bottom skiff, as shown here, have ever been published.


Stick-up jib on Chesapeake Log Canoe
in American Small Sailing Craft

CBMM Catalog Item:  Little Choptank Flattie

Large-format image files of plans, historic photos, and scale model of two-masted stick-up flatties are here.

CBMM Catalog No. :

Little Choptank Flattie

Chapelle, Howard I

CBMM Description:
Date Made : 01/01/1954 –
Description : Little Choptank Flattie from builder’s dimensions. Built 1906, Hudson. Les Seward, boatbuilder. 1/2″ scale. Condition: Fair. Material: Pencil on tracing paper.
Dim-Eng : 17.000 in x 33.500 in

Text in the Plans

Little Choptank Flattie from builder’s dimensions, desctiption, and photos as builte at Hudson, 1906, by Les. Seward.

Lines laid off from notebook memos of builder, as to moulds etc, checked against scaled photographs, 1954.  H.I. Chapelle

Length overall [bet. perps], 19′ 11-3/4″
Beam over side plank, 5′ 10-1/2″
Draft, 1′ 5″
Depth of side at >o< flare, 1′ 10″

Scale:  1/2″ = 1′-0″


More About this Sailing Workboat Design

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[1] Flatties are skiffs that are flat-bottom forward and v-bottom aft.  Chapelle’s two plans are American Small Sailing Craft (ASSC) Figure. 113, “Chesapeake Bay Stickup Flattie” built in 1901 near Bishop’s Head (Dorchester County); and Chesapeake Bay Crabbing Skiffs (CBCS), Figure 2, described as a crabbing flattie with a “stick-up headsail”.

[2] ASSC, pg. 313.

[3] CBCS , discussion of Figure 2.



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.