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1912–1920; 1921–1930; 1941–1942. 222 Severn Ave.
  • default (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • default (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • default (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)
  • default (Photograph by Alexander Heilner)

For over a century, Chance Boatyard has been the site of the construction and repair of boats ranging from small watercraft to world-class yachts and vessels for the U.S. Navy. Visible from Annapolis along the southern shore of Spa Creek is the 170 × 58-foot wood, in-water boathouse workshop erected in 1941 and now a restaurant. The oldest extant buildings are the 1915–1920 two-story brick office and attached machine shop and storeroom along Severn Avenue and the brick paint shop and adjoining machine shop, erected 1921–1930.

The boatyard is in the Eastport neighborhood, created in 1868 by the Mutual Building Association to encourage homeownership among Annapolis’s working class, which by the late nineteenth century attracted a vibrant maritime industry. The boatyard was established in 1912 by Charles Chance, building and repairing boats for watermen specific to the Chesapeake fishing industry, such as bugeyes and skipjacks. During World War I operations expanded to include subchasers for the U.S. Navy, emerging as the largest boatbuilder in Annapolis. Following postwar prosperity, recreational boating took off, and Chance constructed luxury yachts.

Purchased by Annapolis Yachts in 1937, the company built their popular American Cruiser. Under the direction of naval architect Chris Nelson, during World War II, they constructed Navy patrol torpedo (PT) boats and subchasers, erecting two large boat sheds, the in-water shed, and the 307-foot steel frame and corrugated metal shed. War production required three shifts, including a crew of eight women known as the Rosie Riveters of Eastport.

With the purchase of the boatyard in 1947, John Trumpy and Sons resumed production of such recreational boats as world-class yachts, houseboats, and cruisers. During the Korean and Vietnam wars, they constructed minesweepers and PT boats. Annapolis was then recognized as one of the premier boatbuilding centers on the East Coast. Operations ceased in December 1973, but the site maintains maritime functions.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "CHANCE BOATYARD AND EASTPORT", [Annapolis, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 74-75.

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