Winter Lecture – Tradition and Innovation: Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoes

Winter Lecture – Tradition and Innovation: Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoes


Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoes have their origins as oystermen’s boats but have also been raced competitively since the eve of the American Civil War and after more than a century and a half, the competition is as stiff as ever. Over the years, the spread of sail has grown and with them, the crews, delicately balanced over the side to keep the canoes upright. This illustrated lecture will show how these boats remain rooted in tradition despite decades of innovation to increase their speed and performance.

Presenter: Pete Lesher | Chief Curator, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum 

About the Presenter: Pete Lesher is chief curator at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where he has served on staff since 1991 and directs museum collections and exhibitions. He graduated Lafayette College, holds an MA in history from Columbia University, and studied maritime history at Mystic Seaport’s Munson Institute for American Maritime Studies. He contributed to and edited the 2018 book Tradition, Speed and Grace—Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoes.

Outside of work, he sails, taking particular pleasure in his role as jib tender on the 1882 Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoe Island Bird and cruising with his family on a 1963 Bermuda 40.

About the Series: 

The Annapolis Maritime Museum holds its annual Winter Lecture Series over eight consecutive Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. from mid-January through early March. You will be challenged to question and to learn by engaging speakers on diverse topics including maritime history, local history, science and maritime art.

The 2023 series will be held in person at the Museum Campus (723 Second Street Annapolis, MD 21403). Pre-registration is strongly suggested, space is limited. Registration fee of $10 per person at the door – first come, first served. Free admission for First Mate ($150) and above. 

Location: Museum Campus - 723 Second Street Annapolis, Maryland 21403
Date: January 26, 2023
Duration: 1.5 Hours