The “winter that wasn’t” has finally come to an end, and the spring commissioning rush has started at area boatshops. The Bay Bridge Boat Show and the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show mark the unofficial start of the boating season. All indications are that it should be a good one.

boatshop reports
A 34-foot custom aluminum workboat built at Deckelman’s Shop in Rock Hall, MD. Photo by B. Griffin

Jake Glover from Ferry Point Marina in Trappe, MD, sends us this update. “We just completed a ton of paint work on the Grady White. Hull and engines are now in AwlCraft. The bottom has an Interlux barrier and bottom system. Our Yamaha master tech took care of the flywheel updates and services on her F350s. Other items included a fiberglass floor repair and custom hardtop supports with rod holders. As usual, we had a heavy winter workload going into 2024. We’re expecting another great season, particularly with our new above-ground fuel system coming this spring. Get those winter work orders in now for the 2024-2025 season. Winter slots fill fast.”

Fred Probst at Phipps Boat Works in Deale, MD, brings us up to date. “This winter was as busy as ever. We have been busy with boats in here with all kinds of projects. We’ve done a lot of marine systems and brightwork. We’ve also done some small boats. This one is the second one we’ve done. We replaced all the mahogany on it including the gunnels. We did all the brightwork and we’re getting the rig sorted out. As far as spring goes, it’s seacock season. We’re getting all the boats ready to go in the water, so we’re checking all the seacocks for leaks. I’ve got a long list of seacocks to take care of before anything goes into the water. And of course, as the weather warms up, it’s commissioning time, and we start doing the brightwork refinishing outside of the shop. We’ve got a new hire working on the boat right now; it’s his first day. We are always looking for good technicians.”

boatshop reports
Fred Probst with one of this winter’s restoration projects at Phipps Boat Works in Deale, MD. Photo by Rick Franke

From Herrington Harbour North in Tracys Landing, MD, J.J. Williams at Osprey Marine Restorations, their new name as part of the Annapolis Gelcoat family, sends us this update. “Our winter has been very busy. We’ve had more than our share of boats to work on; a lot of collision work, a lot of re-core work, and lots of paint jobs. We have had a lot of paint work. We’ve been busy all winter and now we are gearing up to get all our winter projects done to get ready for spring launch. We are finishing up a fuel tank replacement on a boat right now, but not so many fuel tanks this winter; more re-cores and hull side painting.”

boatshop reports
A classic Boston Whaler undergoing restoration at Osprey Marine Restorations in Tracys Landing, MD. Photo by Rick Franke

Hank Reiser of Marine Services, LLC at Pocohontas Marina in Edgewater, MD, checks in with another busy winter report. “We have been extremely busy this winter. Right now, our shop is full of paneling for a 52-foot Midnight Lace. We are cleaning, repairing, and varnishing all the interior paneling and replacing some pieces that need to be cut, sealed, and varnished. We are also doing a lot of cockpit work, window repair, and trim work on our 34-foot Chris-Craft Commander we have been restoring. It is really nearing completion, and we should be finished with that job this year. That was a long restoration. In the next five days we have a 1945 Chris-Craft Sportsman coming into the shop. It’s going to get new cockpit linoleum and varnish on the decks. We already have had a number of calls for bottom paint work, hull waxing, commissioning work, and stuff like that. We have already started to do bottom prep work today, so it seems as if we are going into the early spring season full steam ahead.” 

boatshop reports
Twin forward facing pods with counter rotating propellers awaiting maintenance at Pocohontas Marina in Edgewater, MD. Photo by Rick Franke

Smokey Glover brings us up to date from the Lake Assault Boats facility in Portsmouth, VA. “This month we have the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Vessel J. B. Baylor in for repower. The existing John Deere engine is being replaced with a new John Deere 6090FSM85 engine and Twin Disc MG5065A marine gear. While here there will be some other maintenance and repair items taken care of, taking advantage of the time out of the water.”

boatshop reports
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission patrol boat JB Baylor having a new John Deere diesel installed at Lake Assault Boats in Portsmouth, VA. Courtesy of LAB

Andy Dize reports in from Baltimore’s Dundalk waterfront. “The spring workload is starting to fill up at Roudebush Yacht and Engine Works in Dundalk, MD. After recently completing the integral fuel tank and non-skid replacement on a C-Hawk 18, we picked up a complete deck gelcoat repair on a Larson 32. We also have scheduled two bottom paint projects: one for a 34-foot center console and the other for a 28-foot Chris-Craft. We placed a 38-foot aluminum workboat on the hard that is scheduled for maintenance repairs and upgrades. Although we don’t have a major project booked for this year, we are starting to see an increase in smaller projects. This suits us fine for the moment, as this gives us time to continue our marina floating dock upgrade.”

boatshop reports
Roudebush Yacht and Engine Works in Dundalk, MD, is restoring this C-Hawk 18. Courtesy of RYEW

Laura Shackleford from Tiffany Yachts in Burgess, VA, checks in with the following update. “We completed the winter maintenance on the Jamestown Settlement’s replica ship, the Godspeed. The only thing we had to do other than the routine work was to have her propellers rebuilt. She went back in the water during the last week in March. She will be returned to Jamestown, re-rigged, and she’ll be ready for the tourist season this summer.

boatshop reports
Jamestown Replica Godspeed going back in the water after winter maintenance at Tiffany Yachts in Burgess, VA. Courtesy of TY

In other work, we had a 1957 Chris-Craft Cavalier in for restoration. We did some repairs on her and refinished her hull and deck. We also had a 1961 Lyman in to fiberglass her bottom and redo her brightwork. We enjoy working on these old runabouts. It is spring, so we are always busy.”

boatshop reports
A 1971 Christ-Craft Cavalier after restoration at Tiffany Yachts in Burgess, VA. Courtesy of TY

Nancy Noyes of Chesapeake Light Craft (CLC) in Annapolis, MD, shares this follow up to a story which originally appeared in our February issue. “Popular social media creators Ryan Ellison and Sophie Darsy, otherwise known to their 74,000-plus YouTube and blog subscribers as Ryan & Sophie Sailing (, have spent the last several months living aboard their 40-footer in Annapolis, and building a boat from a kit in the workshop at Chesapeake Light Craft on George Avenue. When not cruising the world on their sailboat or building boats, Sophie is a talented filmmaker, and Ryan owns a company that manufactures high-tech batteries. The boat is CLC’s Rhode Runner, a 15-foot runabout inspired by the classic 1950s-era Lyman and Chris Craft designs ( Unlike the classic versions, CLC’s CNC-cut stitch-and-glue boat kit requires no building mold and thus is quick to assemble. Ryan and Sophie’s Rhode Runner will be powered electrically with a bank of Ryan’s Dakota Lithium batteries.

boatshop reports
Sophie and Ryan putting the finishing touches on their rover at Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD. Courtesy of CLC

“At the end of March, the boat was complete and beautifully finished, using Schooner Varnish and the new Top-Lac Plus paint, both from Interlux with thanks to Bill Griffin. At press time the hardware and the electric propulsion system were being installed at CLC’s workshop ahead of a planned spring launch. Locals who are curious are welcome to drop by the CLC shop for a look at their progress. Keep an eye out for Ryan and Sophie’s blog and social media posts documenting the entire process!” 

That’s it for this month. Enjoy the spring weather!

By Capt. Rick Franke