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History of the Chesapeake 20 Class
The CHESAPEAKE 20's were developed from a desire to have the fastest sailboat on the West River. In the early 1930's the first attempts in the 21' and under class were the hard-chine double-ender ALBATROSS class, followed by the hard-chine transomed SEA WITCH class and then the familiar round bottom 20 footer of today. For good measure, two double-ender round bottom 20's were built also.
In 1934-5 Osborne Owings, using a Charles Mower design, built Vanity, the first round bottom 20. It showed its superiority to the hard-chine bateaus and one designs immediately, forcing Cap'n. Dick Hartge, a local boat builder, to design the more popular CHESAPEAKE 20 round bottom. Forty-plus 20's were built circa 1936-50 starting with inboard rudders and skegs and then the widely accepted transom hung rudder and centerboard.
CHESAPEAKE 20's were most popular in the late 1930's through the 1950's, bowing to age, maintenance and new fiberglass classes in the 1960's and later. While struggling to stay alive in the 1980's the first of a series of all fiberglass hulls were built in 1989 and the class has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity with many rebuilt 50-plus year wood hulls joining six fiberglass and one cold-molded hull. Up to fifteen boats are now actively racing with many more wooden hulls available in various stages of repair.
Recognized by its traditional rig and large sail area, the CHESAPEAKE 20 design is ideally suited to the light winds and smooth waters of the Chesapeake's tributary rivers. While enjoying an active racing schedule on the West River, the class also participates in regattas at Chestertown, Oxford and St. Michaels. Supporting the 12-14 racing dates each season is the CHESAPEAKE 20 Association of boat owners, crew and friends, dedicated to having the best sailing and camaraderie on the bay!


For more information about participating with the fleet or owning a CHESAPEAKE 20 call :
Fleet Captain and President : Clayton Taylor
Vice President Robin Hartge
Treasurer Carole McCullough
Secretary Mrs. Donna Reuter
People interested in joining our class as boat owners or crew should contact:
Ted Weihe, Clay Taylor, at the www.chesapeake20.org website.

Special Notice



We continue to have members and guests of the club parking in the West River Yacht Harbor WRYH parking lot.  
The situation is such that abusing cars will be towed at the car owners expense.  

WRYH is our neighbor.

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