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Chesapeake Traditions

of the factories that rendered the herring-like fish into oil and fertilizer, a process that blanketed the region with a strong and foul odor. “If you said anything about it to the locals, they would say, ‘That’s the smell of money.’” While he was there, the yard built a schooner hull and converted an old Navy ammunition barge into a paddle-wheel excursion boat. “It was a great opportunity for me because no one in the Pacific Northwest was ordering anything out of wood anymore.” The Rice Brothers’ Boatyard was frequented by watermen from Smith and Tangier Islands who regularly ran across the Bay to have their boats serviced. Vlahovich built a prototype

In 1983, while living in Washington State, he saw another want ad for a Chesapeake boat carpenter, this time at the Rice Brothers’ Boatyard in Reedville, Virginia. “They were looking for someone to take the yard to a new level,” Vlahovich says. “I didn’t realize the connection this yard had to skipjacks. I had never seen a skipjack in real life before. The City of Crisfield, the Somerset and the Fannie L. Daughtery were all built there before my time. They offered me a job, so I moved the family out.” Reedville in the 1980s was the very active homeport of Virginia’s menhaden fleet. It was also the home

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April 2016 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times April 2016