Peggy of New Point

Peggy Moves to Blogger Nov 2014 Oct 2014 Aug 2014 May 2014 April 2014 Mar. 2014 Feb. 2014 Dec. 2013 Nov. 2013 Oct. 2013 Sept. 2013 Aug. 2013 July 2013 May 2013 Mar. 2013 Feb. 2013 Jan. 2013 Sep. 2012 Aug. 2012 Jul. 2012 Apr. 2012 Mar. 2012 Dec. 2011 Nov. 2011 Aug. 2011 May 2011 Peggy Story Peggy Calendar

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November 2014

An update from volunteer George Pongonis on PEGGY's sailing schedule: Today she will move from Urbanna to Carter's Creek. On Saturday, November 22nd, PEGGY will be among four invited vessels to be showcased from the pier head at the Tides Inn. This is for an annual occasion called Taste by the Bay. This appears to be a good time in the making. With only four, short weeks before our days are graced by the return of the sun, each of us will soon have to begin our preparations for next summer's arrival. So, let's celebrate the end of darkness.

A beautiful weekend for the annual Urbanna Oyster Festival, Nov. 7 and 8, 2014. Here, Peggy of New Point with the Godspeed, F.D Crockett and Propwash. Peggy Godspeed FDCrockett
Kids Education day was Thursday. George Pongonis, Dennis Crawford, and Dave Machen had a pound net display and sawing demonstration. Sea Chanty singers demonstrated the pulling of the nets with song, and John England demonstrated lifting oysters by bucket full with a block and tackle into a buy boat.
kids education day
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October 2014

Mast is back on Peggy, she looks great. We still need to finish up some things before Urbanna Oyster Festival, but is looking very good, we should be proud. A big thanks to Morningstar for accommodating us. A few pictures of today's work...
(Photos courtesy of Dave Machen)

Work on Peggy continues. She recently returned, having her waist completed, chain plates mounted, stainless steel stem cover installed, and hole cut in the deck for the mast. Mast should be installed in a week...

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August 2014

Heading Home - Back in the water, looking at Gwynn's Island from the pilot house.
from inside pilot house

And a view of Deltaville, looking back. Nice to have Peggy back in the water.
looking back

Just before launch, at Deltaville Boat Yard.
before launch

Day 5 - The rain slowed us down then put a stop to our painting today.
Pete and George got the patch board sanded and 2 coats of epoxy on.
plank repair

Dave Machen got the propeller bearing housing bolted in with the new longer lag bolts.

And Pete started painting the white top coat until the rain stopped him.
looking good

She sure is looking good.
top coat

Day 4 - Dave Mortimer fits a new plank to the side.
adding a plank

Day 2 - Pete Hall working on the sides of Peggy.
May be painting on primer tomorrow. Still have more patching to do, but she is looking better. pete scrapes

Page Herbert working on the sides.
We had 2 boatwrights from the marina working today on some of the repairs with 6 MMF volunteers. Page scrapes

Day 1 - Peggy is out of the water at Deltaville Boat Yard. Here is the lady on blocks.
on blocks

in need of paint
We had a crew of 7 volunteers working on her:
scraping, sanding, cleaning the prop and rudder and removal of the shaft bearing to enable the repair of the bolts. volunteers
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May 2014
56 riders motored their way to Gwynn's Island. Picture perfect weather, and this beautiful shot was taken by volunteer Dave Machen.

motorcycles coming
We had a mess of crabs waiting at the Boat Shop (Thank You Kerry Hall for donating!) Participants traveled first to the Sunset Grill in Deltaville, then to the Blue Dog, and Damon's in Gloucester, before returning to the island.
Peggy sits waiting for visitors.
peggy at dockinside the houseother end
Prizes went out for 50/50 raffle, poker hands, and other accolades. Looks like a good way to end the day.
eating crabs
bikes parked at sign
The consensus is out - the poker run was a success.

bikes at GIBS

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April 2014

Once again in Prop Talk magazine - Kim Granbery weighs in on the original article about the Peggy from the March issue. Kim donated the Peggy to the Maritime Foundation in 2008, but not before putting in 1,000's of man hours, lots of money, and even winning an award at Mystic Seaport.
Read it online at
prop talk article

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And this article was written by George Pongonis, for the local paper announcing our latest fundraiser:

Don’t be alarmed if you discover an invasion of motorcycle riders cruising intently along our local highways on Saturday, May 3rd. They will be riding in support of a charitable cause. The Mathews Maritime Foundation is sponsoring a Poker Run for motorcycle enthusiasts who want to help fund the maintenance of its flagship vessel, the PEGGY of New Point. This 89 year-old, Mathews built, deadrise workboat has been invited to lead the Parade of Workboats at Norfolk’s Harborfest, on the first Saturday in June. Following this year’s Harborfest, PEGGY has been invited to participate in the Tall Ships at Cape Charles event scheduled for June 14th and 15th.

For Saturday’s Poker Run, motorcycle riders will gather at the Gwynn’s Island Boat Shop by 11 a.m. to register for this event and draw their first playing card. They will then ride to the Sunset Grill in Deltaville as a group. There everyone will draw their second card, and the group will then travel to the Blue Dog Restaurant near Saluda to draw a third card. Then everyone will ride down Rt. 17 to Damon’s Sports Bar and Grill near Gloucester Courthouse to draw their fourth cards. Finally, the riders will return to the starting point on Gwynn’s Island to draw a last card, thus forming a poker hand. Prizes will be awarded to the riders with the best and worst hands, the oldest motorcycle ridden, plus a series of surprise catagories, as well. A blue crab boil will then be served to these riders in appreciation for their kind support.

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March 2014
Plans are underway to hold a poker run fundraiser for the Peggy. Bikers will meet at the Gwynn's Island Boat Shop on May 3 or May 10, depending on the weather, ride to local stops and back to the shop for a blue crab boil.flyer

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February 2014
Peggy is in the latest edition of Prop Talk magazine. Article by Trey Shinault / Photos by Dave Machen. Check it out. To all you folks (and George Pongonis) who put in so many hours - Thanks for all you do! View the article online at

parade 2013

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December 2013
Annual Mathews Christmas Parade, the original pilothouse is "Making Mathews Memories" on December 14. Our crew gathered early Saturday morning to be-deck her before the parade down Main Street. She was well received by spectators.

parade 2013
Construction of the float took place at the Gwynn's Island Shop, starting just after Thanksgiving. The house was lifted onto new 4x4's, the trailer secured, side walk boards, round stern, pointed bow, and side rails for garland all constructed by volunteers. float construction

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November 2013
Urbanna Oyster Festival 2013, Nov. 1st and 2nd - Peggy en route on the Rappahannock.

Arriving in Urbanna.

Mathews Maritime volunteers share their wisdom with visiting students.

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October 2013
Watermen's Breakfast - Sunday, October 13, at Lynne's Family Restaurant in Mathews, Virginia

Peggy of New Point Re-Christening & Fundraiser - Satuday, October 12, 2013

Peggy arrives at Kingston Plantation on Friday afternoon, as scheduled, in preparation for Saturday's big event. As setup begins, we're hopeful for a break in the clouds, but still so glad this day has finally arrived. |

(One week earlier...)
In life, there are moments which endure......................thanks to everyone who helped make these particular moments so very special.

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September 2013
Christening event being planned for Oct. 12 at Kingston Plantation on the North River. Silet auction, food, music, and special guests, you and Peggy. RSVP below...

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August 2013
Inside the new pilot house.

Time to visit the harbor in Urbanna. On Saturday, August 3rd. A dozen deckboats are on display. We have a booth to showcase the progress on PEGGY.

Peggy with pilothouse.

Pilothouse onboard. | A picture speaks a thousand words...

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July 2013

A picture of the tow. We owe much thanks to Kerry Hall for towing Peggy when needed.

We got Peggy back this afternoon. She is back at the dock awaiting her new Pilot house. We will be painting the house next week according to the plan.

Here is Peggy up on the hard in Deltaville, July 17. Bottom is getting cleaned and repainted. Should be done today and ready for water tomorrow. |

Peggy is to be moved to Deltaville this weekend, if everything works out including the weather, for her once a year bottom cleaning and painting. | Pictures from the trip for railway work.

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May 2013

Prep work is currently being done prior to painting the pilot house.

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March 2013
Put a new roof on. | She is changing every day now.

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February 2013
Stages of pilot house construction. | Pete and Eric working at the Gwynn's Island Boat Shop.

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January 2013
Pilot house sills. | Deck framing. | Pilot house deck dryfit. | Port starboard walls fit, glued, screwed. | New dimension!

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September 2012
The new waist being constructed. | Eric and Dave put final touches on the guard before installing the waist.

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August 2012
Peggyof New Point is launched with completed guard.

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July 2012
Peggy returns after being on the rail for close to 2 weeks for painting. After materials are cut, she will be re-hauled for a finish coat and installation of guardrails.

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April 2012
Peggy gets decking around all deck openings. Volunteers are such an important part of this activity, and teamwork has been key to progress. | Decking got started on a Monday with the 1st plank layed down. | Deck boards get painted before installation.

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March 2012

Milder weather returns making conditions favorable for repair work to resume. 2,000 board feet of select cypress lumber was delivered to the Gwynn's Island Boat Shop in preparation for planking Peggy's newly framed deck structure. Some of this lumber will also be used in the construction of her new pilothouse. Peggy's original pilothouse will be moved to the MMF museum and located as an outside display.

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December 2011
The last of the deck frames is placed, and Peggy's deck framing is finished.

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November 2011
A very special morning in the long life of Peggy as she received the first of her new deck frames. Her new frames will rest upon two new inside clamps. Progress should occur quickly from this point forward. | This is an exciting time to be a part of this project. There is much to be celebrated as Peggy re-emerges as a living symbol of the maritime heritage that Mathews can claim with pride.

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August 2011
Peggy of New Point has been launched after spending two weeks on the rail. | While out, she received a fresh coat of bottom paint and her buoy top was given a cursory sanding and painting.

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May 2011
Peggy was hauled out onto the railway at GIBS (the Maritime Foundation's Gwynn's Island Boat Shop.) A thorough inspection of her under water hull and fittings was conducted.

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The Peggy Story

Original story by George Pongonis. Edited for the 2012 Gwynn’s Island Festival Program.

Can you remember life before microwave ovens? As we live day-to-day, new technologies emerge which replace what we have grown to admire. Do you ever wonder about living in an earlier time? How different day-to-day life must have been for those who never knew the benefits of our modern conveniences. Just think about travel in the time prior to the introduction of engine-powered vehicles. No planes, trains or automobiles, and only sailboats for voyages over water. Those were different times in Mathews County.

Back at what we used to call the “turn of the century,” Mathews was known as a prominent center for boat building. Boats were important around the Chesapeake before highways took over the “shipping” business. (Where do you think our common term for transportation came from?) Not just small boats either. Sea-going ships were built here in Mathews. Indeed, many sons of Mathews went to sea as well. On a per capita basis, Mathews has seen more of its own employed in positions of responsibility aboard ships than any other county in the United States.

The Cardinal is the official bird of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Do you know what the official flower is? And did you know that Virginia also has an official boat? Most people are unaware that the Chesapeake Bay Deadrise has been designated as our state’s Official Boat. “What’s with that?” you may ask.

Well, think of it this way: In the entire universe, it is believed that life, as we know it, exists nowhere but within our solar system. And so far, we have yet to find such life anywhere else but on the third planet from our sun. Also affirmed is that estuaries are of singular importance to our planet’s well-being. The premier estuary on the Earth is the Chesapeake Bay. For well over a hundred years, a unique form of vessel design and construction has been relied upon to enable the successful accomplishment of man’s quests upon this Bay. This deadrise design has been the hallmark of boats intended for use throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, and it is quickly becoming extinct before our eyes. As technologies advance around the waterfront, newer methods of boat manufacture and propulsion are making the deadrise design and tradition obsolete. These boats are sadly going the way of the horse and buggy.

Enter the Mathews Maritime Foundation (MMF) to preserve the maritime heritage of this very special region. Formed only a decade ago, this organization seeks to prevent the loss of our rich, local, maritime history. As part of its mission, the MMF has sought to engage the public in a “hands-on” manner with the wonders of our boat-building heritage. This activity has been facilitated by the availability of a small marine railway and repair shop on Gwynn’s Island. Originally established by the legendary steel boat builder, Gil Klingel, this boat yard affords the people of Mathews the increasingly rare opportunity to experience the art of wooden boat building and repair. Presently, the MMF is conducting an extensive overhaul of an 88-year old, Mathews-built vessel that has spent most of her life engaged in the local commercial fishery.

There are few people still alive who can remember that day, four score and eight years ago when PEGGY was launched from Peary, Virginia. It was back in 1925 that a brand new PEGGY entered the pound-net trade for Mr. Walter Burroughs, who named her for his daughter. The business was good back then and, before long, the owners of these deadrise fishing boats took to racing. PEGGY was quiet a speedster. Although she began her life with a 35 horsepower engine, as the racing aspect of these vessels’ lives evolved, engines with maximum power were sought. PEGGY soon received a fast turning, 200 horsepower diesel for the express purpose of earning “bragging rights” for her owner.

Deadrise boats raced in the Bay, just offshore from the beaches along lower Mathews. All the stops were pulled out in those attempts to beat the competition. Decks were removed, as were pilothouses. Engines were “hopped-up” by the best mechanics of the day and all excess weight was removed from the boats to lighten their load. After starting a diesel engine before a race, its battery would be disconnected and left on the dock. Fuel tanks were temporarily removed and races were run on five-gallon cans.

In 1946, PEGGY had her bottom replaced by a master boat builder, Mr. Alton Smith. The wood selected for this job was chosen after tests were conducted to determine the differences between various woods in terms of water absorption and therefore weight. When PEGGY was ready for launching, Alton sent a man to Gloucester to buy all of the shoe polish he could find. Her entire bottom was then shoe-polished to give her a further advantage for racing.

PEGGY went on to become a crab dredger for many years under the ownership of Mr. Edward Grinnell. She hailed from New Point then and was a regular part of the Davis Creek fleet. Some of today’s Mathews watermen have many fond memories of Captain Edward and can tell fascinating stories of life onboard PEGGY of New Point. Time took its toll on PEGGY, and like all biodegradable objects, she began to deteriorate. She was donated to the MMF by her last owners, Kim and Gretchen Granberry, who recognized the role that she could play for the people of Mathews as a sea-going representative of our proud heritage.

Today, PEGGY has a new engine, along with all new decking, and is now awaiting her new pilothouse. She has received the considerable attention and skills of a highly professional shipwright, Mr. Eric Hedberg. What is equally important, however, is the attention and affection that PEGGY is receiving from local volunteers who have seen their labors rewarded with a sense of ownership. They have earned a kind of equity through the genuine treasure of Mathews County Virginia’s past.

In the days ahead, PEGGY will travel to Norfolk and Urbanna, Virginia; to Baltimore and St. Michaels, Maryland; and beyond, to share with others why we are so proud of Mathews County's maritime heritage, while continuing to manifest the deadrise culture here and building upon what is already “Distinctly Mathews”.

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2013 Peggy of New Point Calendar

You won't want to miss this year's Mathews Maritime Calendar!

2013 features Peggy in beautiful images and text. Also, an extra insert tells the story of this historic deck boat, her renovation, and what the future holds. Get your copy at the Museum Gift Shop and the Mathews Visitor Center.


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