Last Saturday we took a trip to Reedville, Virginia, to visit the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum there.
It’s not open this time of year, but I’d answered a Craig’s List ad about a dinghy for sale, and went there to meet the gentleman in charge of the museum’s boat donation program. The museum accepts donated boats and restores them. If they’re not really appropriate for a museum exhibit, they sell them with the proceeds going to help fund the museum.
He showed me the dinghy they had for sale. A 7′ 11″ Dyer Dhow, reportedly built in 1975. The result was so nice, “the guy who restored it wanted to buy it back from the museum.” I can’t help but agree– he did a beautful job.
Philip Rhodes collaborated with Bill Dyer to design a series of dinghies for Dyer Boats, starting in the 1930s. The original Dyer Dhow was designed for the Navy during World War II as a lifeboat; it was 9′ long and could hold 9 men. Later, they developed this model, the “Midget”, a very popular dinghy to use as a yacht tender– exactly what I need. The deal was done.
The bottom and sides of this boat are painted a dark blue. I like the color, but it might end up hot on summer days, if she’s upside-down on the foredeck of Blanca. So I might re-paint her something lighter. Maybe a pale green– then Ballena Blance (“White Whale”) can have a dinghy named Sardina Verde (“Green Sardine”).
We spent another half hour walking around the museum property, looking at the outdoor exhibits before heading home. They have a nice Chesapeake Skipjack on their dock, the Claude W. Somers. The place is kind of like a miniature Mystic Seaport. We certainly will come back when the museum is open– possibly by water!