Skipjack Nathan receives grants before silver jubilee

The skipjack Nathan of Dorchester is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in July 2019.

CAMBRIDGE — The Nathan of Dorchester has recently received several grants to fund unique projects. The Nathan is preparing to celebrate her 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee in July 2019 and the Dorchester Skipjack Committee would like the skipjack to be in the best shape possible.

The George W. Todd Foundation through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation provided the funds to replace the halon fire system and install an AED Defibrillator.

“These were critical expenses to help ensure continued safety on the Nathan of Dorchester,” Committee President Pat Johnson said.

In addition to the Todd Foundation grant, The Pauline Foxwell Robbins and William David Robbins Charitable Foundation Trust provided funds to help support the 2018 Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race and a grant to replace and upgrade the Nathan’s navigation system.

Although most of the Nathan’s passengers experience sailing and oystering on the Choptank River, the Nathan frequently travels to Oxford, Deal Island, and other destinations on the Bay.

“Having an updated depth finder and navigation system helps ensure the Nathan can safely navigate beyond its home port and share the heritage of skipjacks with other communities,” said Chris Koch, lead captain of the U. S. Coast Guard certified vessel.

The Nathan is an example of the skipjacks of yesteryear that graced the local waters. The Nathan was built from 1992 to 1994, by volunteers who donated over 14,000 man hours to complete her construction. She was designed by boatwright Harold Ruark and boat builder Bobbie Ruark. Hailed as the “the last authentic skipjack” built on the Chesapeake Bay, she is owned and maintained by the non-profit Dorchester Skipjack Committee in Cambridge.

The Dorchester Skipjack Committee invites the community to keep the skipjack heritage alive by supporting the Nathan of Dorchester for future generations. Please visit the updated website at or on Facebook at Skipjack Nathan. Donations are always accepted and appreciated.

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