Boat Model, Surfboat

This model represents a New England surfboat, a small seaworthy vessel from the early 1870s. This type of boat was commonly used by the Lighthouse Board and the Life Saving Service. Since surfboats were used for life saving and rescue missions, they were often launched from the beach into heavy surf and severe waves. Crews numbered from 3-5 men. Surfboats did not utilize sails, instead propulsion came from oars. The boat was steered with a tiller. The original boat was 22 feet long and 6 feet wide. This model was built in 1875 and was given to the Smithsonian by Cragin & Sheldon, boat builders in Boston, Massachusetts.
Object Name
new england surf boat, rigged model
date made
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Ship Models
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Ship Models
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Cragin & Sheldon, Boston, Massachusetts
Additional Media

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