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Mildred Belle
The Mildred Belle is a traditional Chesapeake Bay Buy Boat, a vessel whose function in the early 1900's was to purchase oysters directly from sailing work boats on the fishing grounds and then quickly carry the oysters to market to sell for a profit. This saved the oyster fleet a long sail to market. During her career on the Chesapeake, Mildred Belle has been used to transport oysters, dredge for crabs, trawl fishing, and even sport fishing in the Atlantic Ocean.
Mildred Belle was built in 1948 in Odd, Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay's western shore. Her builder, Odell Carmines, used yellow pine (known as Bull Island mahogany) to construct her. The wood was handpicked by the builder in 1947 and dragged by a team of mules to saltmarsh to season properly. One year later, the logs were hauled out of the marsh to dry out and then sawed into planks for Mildred Belle's construction. The name of the boat originates from the first owner's two daughters - Mildred Lee and Hattie Belle Evans.
The Living Classrooms Foundation purchased Mildred Belle from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in 1988. Today she is the Living Classrooms Foundation's research vessel, where students can use state-of-the-art scientific equipment as part of their interactive learning experience.
Vital Statistics:
LENGTH:
56 feet overall
BEAM:
15 ft.
DRAFT:
4.5 feet
WEIGHT:
23 gross tons
POWER:
165 horsepower diesel engine
 

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