(July 2, 2009) The Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes average about 30 feet in length and have a crew of 5 to 22 depending on size. Most are over 50 years old and some are over 100 years old. Log canoes were originally seafood harvesting workboats used on the Chesapeake. They get their name from the log construction of the original hulls, a feature still visible from within the cockpit, although they now have a fiberglass outer skin.
The canoes are capable of exceeding 12kts and in ideal conditions can step up on a plane. They are very narrow relative to length, requiring the use of 10 to 15 foot wooden planks ("springboards" or just "boards") with crew weight in order to provide leverage against the rotational pressure of the massive sails. Log canoes do not have fixed keels in part because of the very shallow waters where they race. The summer racing season occurs mainly in Saint Michaels, Maryland, with other races held in Oxford and Chestertown, Maryland.