Captain Ed Farley

Captain Ed Farley

213 North Talbot Street
St. Michaels, MD 21663

After choosing to pursue an education by experience, Capt. Ed participated in the pilot internship program of Dynamy in Worcester, Mass., and worked with the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and the Apprecticeshop in Maine. Then, sailing south from New England in the fall of 1971 and discovering the Eastern Shore with its active fleet of working skipjacks., Capt. Ed had found “home”. He holds a United States Coast Guard 100 ton auxilliary/sail license, and has been making his livelihood from sailing skipjacks and from wooden boat building and repairs ever since. He purchased his first vessel in 1975, and after extensive rebuilding, started utilizing the skipjack year round by oystering from November through March and for carrying charters during the warm months. In 1977, Capt. Ed had the privilege and pleasure of working with James Mitchner, who was researching his book Chesapeake. In 1985, Capt. Ed helped to develop and operate a sailing skipjack environmental educational program with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and over the next seven years carried in excess of 14,000 school children. 

By 1990 the working fleet of skipjacks was diminishing along with the oyster population due to two viruses, MSX and Dermo. In an effort to save another of these last skipjacks, Capt. Ed sold his Stanley Norman (build 1902) to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and purchased the H. M. Krentz. After three years of effort the Krentz was ready for the Coast Guard inspection so that it too could earn its keep year round.

With a life long interest in outdoor, environmental, and experiential education, Capt. Ed, through Ecotourism and oystering, approaches the 21st century with a commitment to keeping the heritage of the working skipjack alive.

The H.M. Krentz is an authentic working skipjack and one of the newer vessels to be built for the rigors of Maryland’s wintertime commercial oyster dredging fishery. Launched in 1955 in Harry Hogan, Va., by the Krentz Shipyard for Capt. David Lewis of Wingate, Md., The H.M. Krentz is 49 ft. length on deck, 70ft. length overall, 15.5 ft. beam, draws 4ft. 10 in. with the centerboard up, displaces 26 tons, and carries almost 2000 square feet of sail. 

The beamy, open deck of the working skipjack, so necessary for oyster dredging under sail, creates a very stable ride. It is a perfect setting for social gatherings or business meetings, and makes a great outdoor classroom for educational groups of all ages. Together with the surrounding Chesapeake Bay, the H.M. Krentz becomes a powerful symbol of the significant cultural and ecological history of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

To sail aboard the H.M. Krentz is akin to stepping back in history, which is ever present on the Eastern Shore – home of the last fleet of working sailing vessels in North America. There are no winches, just manpower and blocks and tackle along with the luck of a good breeze to set time back in motion. Experience the life of the waterman; help pull up the sails and dredge some oysters. Relax and enjoy the sounds of wind and water; see osprey and waterfowl; observe undeveloped waterfront and historic towns; learn about the ecology of the incredible Chesapeake Bay. You will not find a more unique way to explore this tidewater region.

The H.M. Krentz is U.S. Coast Guard certified to carry 32 passengers. It is available by charter to groups at reasonable hourly rates, or individuals can join scheduled two hour tours. The home port of call is the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland; however, we can relocate the vessel to a port of convenience for private groups.

We regularly visit Cambridge, Oxford, Kent Narrows, Annapolis, and Tilghman Island.

So – Don’t Miss the Boat! We can arrange for catered picnics, cocktails and hor d’oeuvres, or you can bring your own food and beverages. Dress as comfortably and casually as you like.

Sailing Charters departing daily (April to October) from the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland.

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