Rebecca T. Ruark


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The Rebecca T. Ruark is a Chesapeake Bay skipjack built at Taylor's Island, Maryland. She is homeported at Tilghman Island, Maryland. Built in 1886, she is the oldest surviving skipjack in the Chesapeake Bay fleet. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.DescriptionThe Rebecca T. Ruark is a typical sloop-rigged skipjack, built for the shallow draft, low freeboard and high stability needed to work the Chesapeake Bay oyster beds. She has a rounded chine with a sharp, convex clipper bow on a sloop hull. The Ruark is fore-and-aft planked. Her wood plug rudder is carried well forward beneath the transom, astern of the centerboard. As part of her 2000 U.S. Coast Guard certification to carry passengers for hire she received a watertight bulkhead ahead of the mast. An aluminum hatch provides access into the new space, which is used for sail and line storage. The deck is 2in fir forward of the main hatch and pressure-treated pine aft. Deck beams are oak, with two 11.5in king planks running from the bow to the main hatch. A central hatch measures 55in long by 64.75in wide. Behind the hatch is a small trunk cabin with a three-sided doghouse aft, with double doors leading from the doghouse to the hold. A fuel tank for the push boat is on the starboard side of the cabin. Pipe rails have been added for passenger carriage.The Rebecca T. Ruark carries a standard skipjack rig of jib-headed mainsail and a large jib. The present mast is new from 2000 and is 12in in diameter and

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