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The Nathan of Dorchester

July 11, 2019
Nathan Under Sail

The Nathan of Dorchester, a locally-built skipjack and icon in the town of Cambridge, is celebrating 25 years of active service.

Twenty-five years ago, a small group of local volunteers from the Dorchester Skipjack Committee completed a 14,000 hour project to build the skipjack Nathan of Dorchester. The last skipjack built to dredge for oysters, the Nathan was constructed along traditional lines of Dorchester County native loblolly pine and white oak.

Since its maiden voyage, volunteers from the Dorchester Skipjack Committee have carried over 16,000 passengers, sailed the Nathan over 25,000 miles and visited ports all over the Chesapeake Bay. The Nathan of Dorchester proudly serves as a major local tourist attraction and floating ambassador for Dorchester County and the city of Cambridge.

The Nathan’s all volunteer crew sails between 80 to 100 times a season. They have an extensive crew training and volunteer education program. On public sails and charters, the docents introduce the passengers to the oyster and its impact on Bay and Choptank river ecology and economy. They tell stories of Cambridge and Dorchester County’s colorful maritime history and how the rising sea level impacts our fragile local ecology.