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Skipjack Rosie Parks relaunched at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

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The Skipjack Rosie Parks has been relaunched at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Micheal's Maryland.

A skipjack is a boat specifically built to harvest oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, and as a breed was one of the last commercially viable sailing oystermen in the US.

The Rosie Parks began it's storied career in 1955 when it was built by Bronza Parks in Wingate, MD.

After a 20 year career as a working boat, the builders brother Orville, deeded the Rosie Parks to the CBMM on the condition that she would never work again, in order to not compete with the other watermen on the bay.

Rosie parks did partake in skipjack races up and down the bay, frequently winning, in between educational cruises in conjunction with the museum.

She last sailed in 1998, her mast was removed in 2001, and she was removed from the water in 2007.

In 2010 funds were donated and raised to complete a full restoration, from the keel up, using as many original parts and material that were used in her original lay out.

A working exhibit was set up at the museum as she was restored whereby frequent visitors could track her reconstruction. There are many images and videos of the work that was completed over the past three years.

On November 2, 2013 the Rosie Parks was relaunched into the Miles River and St. Micheals Harbor. She remains unfinished, but her keel and hull are completed and as part of the process she must be in the water in order to "Swell."

The work on the rest of the Rosie Parks is scheduled to be completed this upcoming spring, hopefully in time for some upcoming skipjack races scheduled for later in the summer and fall.

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