SOLOMONS, MD – October 31, 2022 –The Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) welcomes the sailing yacht, Witchcraft, dockside under the Drum Point Lighthouse. This vessel comes as a generous gift to the Calvert Marine Museum Society (CMMS) by its most recent owner, Dave Butler of Pasadena, Maryland.
“Witchcraft represents the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our floating watercraft,” commented Mark Wilkins, Curator of Maritime History & CMM Boatwright. “She represents the zenith of the traditional yacht-builders art and was designed to race-so she is fast, stable, and sea-kindly.”
The vision behind acquiring this vessel is to preserve the recreational maritime culture of the Chesapeake Bay, and provide educational programs for youth, and sailing opportunities for all. “This generous gift from Mr. Butler to the CMMS, will enable the museum to continue paying the gift forward to our community,” said Bonnie Barrett, Director of Development at Calvert Marine Museum.
Built-in 1903 by well-known boatwrights George Lawley & Son Boat Yard in Boston, she launched Witchcraft II, a racing yacht for original owner William Bowditch Rogers. She eventually made her way down to the Chesapeake Bay on a treacherous journey during WWII and, in 1970, began a 30-year restoration project after years of sailing the Chesapeake.
In 2007, Butler reconnected with the Witchcraft after searching for her design plans in hopes to recreate a model of the vessel he once sailed. Butler and his brother, Bryan, enjoyed spending summers on the Chesapeake sailing with their father and were elated to find that she still existed.
After purchasing the vessel in 2008, Butler aided in completing renovations and hired past owner Paul Itzel to captain the Witchcraft.
CMM is delighted to add this iconic sailing vessel and continue her presence on the Chesapeake Bay.