The type of water being worked in and gear used by commercial fishermen determines specific features built into workboats. This is evident in Virginia. where Jennings Boatyard in Reedville, Va., launched in April its fourth garvey for the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster cage aquaculture fishery.

The garvey style has become a popular working platform for oystermen growing oysters in cages. Oystermen need a fast boat to get to and from oyster grounds, with plenty of flat deck surface to carry loaded and empty cages and a shallow enough draft to work in 6 to 16 inches of water. The vessel also has to have the deck space for a hydraulic mast/gaff used to haul cages from the water.

Larry Jennings’ 27' x 10' garvey provides all those features. The firm’s latest vessel is for Purcell’s Seafood of Burgess, Va. The garvey will be used in the firm’s oyster aquaculture business.

Purcell’s Seafood ships oysters all over the United States and to Canada. The firm is an example of how Virginia’s investment in oyster aquaculture is paying off.

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Larry Chowning is a writer for the Southside Sentinel in Urbanna, Va., a regular contributor to National Fisherman, and the author of numerous books.

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