The Lake Erie Shallop was the local boat most commonly used for commercial fishing on Lake Erie prior to the turn of the last century. Generally running upwards of 30 feet, the original boats were capable sailboats when managed by fishermen who knew the rough waters at the eastern end of the Lake.
The Scajaquada, a Lake Erie shallop replica built by the Buffalo Maritime Center in 2007, is docked at the Commercial Slip at Canalside, and is available for free sails Tuesday and Wednesday evenings during the summer.
The new “Buffalo Wailer” is a 20 foot version of the Lake Erie shallop, based upon those seaworthy work boats unique to Western New York, and is being built as a program boat by Buffalo Maritime Center volunteers, and a generous donor who wished to remain anonymous. The Wailer is being built using composite construction strip planking that will be sheathed in fiberglass cloth. The rugged construction includes two watertight chambers and other built-in safety elements. It is thought that she will be a relatively fast boat that will “wail” along in a breeze. With a crew of two adults, the boat will take up to six young people for overnight camping cruising trips around lakes Erie and Ontario. The kids will learn to row, sail, and manage basic seamanship as they make do with a minimum of modern conveniences during their weekend voyage of discovery. Join us in building this amazing historic boat!