Class/Type: Three-sail bateau
Builder: James B. "Mr. Jim" Richardson
Designer: Designer Name
Launch Date: 1958
Owner / Skipper: Jack Zuraw
A living piece of Maryland history, the JOLLY DOLPHIN is a three-sail bateau, a wooden sailing vessel modeled on Chesapeake Bay oyster dredgers and built for recreational use.
Sometimes called a “workboat yacht,” it was custom-built for the Mick family of Delaware by James B. Richardson on LeCompte Creek in Dorchester County, Maryland in 1958.
Legend has it that the name ‘Jolly Dolphin’ came from a character in a children’s book entitled Nautical Ned by Clare Randolph — supposedly the favorite book of the original owners’ children.
From 1964 to 2007, the JOLLY DOLPHIN passed into the hands of a half dozen owners, the last having abandoned her ashore. So she was ready for a new steward when the current owner found her and began her restoration — an almost forgotten piece by Chesapeake history.
More information about the builder, "Mr. Jim" Richardson, can be found at the Richardson Maritime Museum .
The JOLLY DOLPHIN participates as a volunteer vessel in NSHOF's STEM Sailing programs.
Above Photo: The JOLLY DOLPHIN in the late 1970’s (courtesy of Mike Mathews)