Boat Model, Potomac River Shad Drag-Seine Galley

This model represents a boat known as a galley, which was used for fishing in the Potomac River during the late nineteenth century. The galley was used for shad fishing with a drag seine. Seine fishing was a technique where a net was anchored in place with large wings that encircled and funneled fish into the net. These boats sometimes carried seine nets that were 30 feet deep at the hauling end and 12 feet deep at the shore end. Due to the size of the boat and the weight of the load, a galley could have 15-25 oars, most manned by two people. This model represents a galley 72 feet long and about 4 feet wide. The model was built in 1883 and was given to the Smithsonian by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries.
Currently not on view
Object Name
shade sein boat, riged model
date made
overall: 36 in; 91.44 cm
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
U. S. Fisheries Commission

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