Wingate, Maryland is one of several very small fishing villages located in Dorchester County on the Eastern shore of the on the Honga River. Chesapeake Bay workboats of all types can be seen here. Except perhaps for the Skipjack, the Chesapeake Bay deadrise boat is the most commonly recognized workboat of the Bay. The name comes from the “V” bottom hull that forms a very sharp angle of entry at the bow that gradually flattens out towards the stern. Today most such boats have a square transom or stern but in the early part of the century a very distinctive stern appeared on boats built at Hoopers Island directly across the Honga river from wingate. The stern on these boats was round and sloping at a rather sharp angle away from the rail. This gave the boat a very streamlined and speedy look that quickly acquired the nickname “Hooper Island Boat” or “Hooper Island Draketail”.
Only a few of these unique boats can be seen on the Bay today and one of the most beautiful and well maintained is Dorothy Lee. Since at least the late 1960's when I first saw her, the 41 foot Dorothy Lee has docked in Wingate Creek along the Wingate/Bishops Head Road just north of Bishop’s Head where she was built in 1934.