Deltaville Maritime Museum Destroyed By Fire!

(photo by Larry S. Chowning)

Yesterday around 6PM the Deltaville Maritime Museum went up in flames. There are a bunch of stories online and on Facebook. We have provided links below. And mooched a fantastic pic from Larry Chowning… But the upshot is the fire started in the pavilion, it was boat building week.. Boats were destroyed, and a lot of the artifacts were saved by the folks there. The roof caved in… The fire is still under investigation. The Museum is a big time dream of fellow Woody Boater Kaptain Crunch and his wife. They have been building this museum with sweat for years. To say this is tragic is an understatement. The Museum is a social gathering place for the community that in recent years has had its decades share of crap happen to it, including a Tornado that took out a church. Deltaville is a very small down on the Northern Neck of Virginia. And is home to some very rich maritime Chesapeake Bay history dating back to Capt John Smith! The one silver lining here is that Deltaville is an amazing community and without doubt the museum will be rebuilt and be even more amazing after the fact. Here are some links to the story.,0,5730387.story

Here is the link for the Deltaville Museum

14 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    What a tragedy. On behalf of the Michigan Chapter, ACBS, I want to wish the Deltaville Museum community the best of luck during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Tom Carter
    Tom Carter says:

    What a tragedy. I’m reminded of the fire two years ago at Tiffany Yachts. The inherent flammability of wooden boats and the stuff that goes into them is grave. I’m sure the greater wooden boat community will rally ’round.


  3. Alex
    Alex says:

    So sorry to read this. Fire is devastingly final. My heart goes out to Crunch and the community.

    Re flammability, perhaps the only solution is sprinklers in such facilities. Maybe when this facility is rebuilt, local fundraising and/or the insurance settlement will cover such an investment?

    Not to distract from this story, but Tom’s comment above got me thinking…

    What about mounting halon tanks — an active fire extinguisher — in classic boats? (I only have halon in one boat and it’s not a classic.)

    Are there fellow WoodyBoaters out there who’ve installed halon, in non-cruiser-size boats?

    Does anyone have a story of tragedy averted by such a system? Will halon extinguish a fire in a wooden boat engine box?

    Would ACBS deduct for such an install?

    Will Hagerty provide a rate incentive for installing such a device?

    What about gas sniffing sensors (which might prevent a tragedy even before the key is turned)? Any comments re those? Ditto questions for ACBS and Hagerty re these?

    Let’s face it. Our boats were built when water safety was defined differently. (Throttle spoons anyone?). Has there ever been a focused WoodyBoater discussion about making our boats safer? I mean beyond what the Coast Guard “requires?” I’d be all eyes for such an exchange.

    Perhaps we can turn the above story into something that can save boat buildings, boats, and lives.

    • Greg Wallace
      Greg Wallace says:

      Been using halon system in my old boats for years. I don’t know for sure but it is my understanding that safety items suffer little or no deduction in judging. That being said I’ll take a deduction over “deductible” any time.

  4. ranger
    ranger says:

    truly sorry for your loss. you can ftell by looking at the links that the museum was valued by the community, how heartbreaking for all concerned as well as the rest of the boating world.

  5. Jimmuh
    Jimmuh says:

    All of us here @ Woody Boater could easily jumpstart the rebuilding by immediately joining the museum……($15 for an individual – $25 for a family)? That’s not even fast-food money! Simple as going to the website & click ‘Join”….. I’m given’ up a months worth of chik on a stik in favor of a membership.

  6. Tom Carter
    Tom Carter says:

    Jimmuh, that’s an excellent idea! Even though I belong to the Reedville museum up the road a piece, I’ll join Deltaville tonight. Thanks!


  7. Doug Powles
    Doug Powles says:

    The Whatcom Maritime Society also lost their archives in a fire. Time for we advocates to scan and digitally save our history.

  8. Jeff p
    Jeff p says:

    Its too late now. And that is sad but maybe more museums should seriously looking be into theyre exsisting (or better) fire systems. When the Chris Craft club went to the mariners museum are they protected well for this sort of mishap? I hope they recover more than what they thought was burned…

  9. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I love going there, do so often, this is a real blow especially to that community so recently hard hit by tornados.

    I will contribute to the rebuild and this might be a good time to give them all of my boating mags for the reconstitued library there. I have a run (from vol 1 to current) of WoodenBoat and Classic Boating and most of the Rudder and Brass Bells. Also lots of great chesapeake bay area books.

    Rise Pheonix

    John in Va.

  10. Clif Ames
    Clif Ames says:

    Great story Matt.
    Small corretion, Deltaville is not on the Northern Neck. It is on the Middle Penninsula.
    Reedville Fishermen’s Museum will try to assist and I express
    my offer to help. We have worked with Kaptain Krunch for years.

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