The Chesapeake Buckeye

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Rurudyne, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    In the 1902, volume 13, of The Rudder Magazine, which can be read here: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015022693579;skin=mobile#page/244/mode/1up , they give some drawings and a description of a "Buckeye", an attractive looking double ended ship featuring leg-o-mutton sails.

    I was wondering if anyone knew where to find more information about these and how they were differentiated from the Bugeye (on the next page there is a poem about this very association) aside from (I suppose) being double ended?
     
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There's a little bit about these types in several texts, though their lines give an indication of what they are and what they can do. The two types are quite different, with the Bugeye being a plank keel dory derivative, while the Buckeye is a typical "canoe" with some power aft, likely the result of racing modifications. I raced these canoes as a kid and they're scary, capsizing often, ridiculous rigs and buried their bows frequently. The one shown is more "yacht" like in her lines.
     
  3. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    There were log bugeyes and frame bugeyes. The bottoms of log bugeyes were hewn from five or more logs placed side by side, and the topsides were framed and carvel planked. Frame bugeyes had a timber keel, not a plank keel, with frames and carvel planking. Very different than dory construction.

    Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes and Bugeyes by M. V. Brewington has lines of fourteen bugeyes. All but one have round bilges and shallow deadrise, with the deadrise increasing towards the bow and stern. The hull shapes might be described as "fat canoes". The one exception is the log bugeye Maggie. E. Smith which has a shallow V bottom with chines.

    Brewington describes the bugeye as having evolved from log canoes and brogans in response to the legalization of dredging for oysters and prohibiting the use of mechanical propulsion after the Civil War.
     
  4. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    My reading of the short article and poem from The Rudder which Rurudyne provided the link to is that the article uses "buckeye" for the boats which are today called "bugeyes", not two different types of boats. From the article:
    As for the proper name, Buckeye is correct,​
    The accompanying poem is about the difference in opinion of the correct name, buckeye vs bugeye and includes a reference to Thomas Fleming Day, editor of The Rudder and designer of the Sea Bird, and his insistence on the use of "buckeye" rather than "bugeye":
    For he always spelt it buckeye
    but the end of the poem indicates that those who built and sailed the boats called them bugeyes, not buckeyes, despite what the editor of The Rudder considered to be correct.
    And the editor may spell it buckeye if he will;
    And we cannot call him down,
    Though his spelling gives us pain,
    But you bet our boat's a bugeye just the same.​


    Appendix I in Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes and Bugeyes by M. V. Brewington is Origin of the Word "Bugeye", and several of the scenarios discussed include the name "bugeye" originating as a corruption of "buckeye". At the end of the appendix Brewington says:
    But the name was never standardized. "Buckeye" seems to the older in print; but in speech the Baymen always use "bugeye." The former word, however, is only two years older than the latter as far as it can be traced in written records. Actually it may the younger since the man who prepared the Coast and Geodetic Survey may very possible have corrupted the Marylanders' spoken "bugeye" into "buckeye".​
     

  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The two versions of the Buckeyes where simple practical ones. The smaller version could be gotten from a tree's girth, though the larger ones had to have some structure.

    As a kid we pronounced it a Bugeye, but I don't remember seeing the spelling until much later. I raced these out of St. Michael's, MD. in the 60's.
     
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