Historic boat lovers, I have bad news for you. The “Minnie V” and the “SV Potomac,” which graced the waterfront in Alexandria this year, are gone.
I discovered this yesterday on a morning walk. Imagine my surprise when, in a matter of minutes, I saw that both were not there.
The SV Potomac was a replica river dory docked by Waterfront Park. Its historical marker talked about their v-shaped hulls that allowed fisherman to net a bigger yield. As part of their outreach program for troubled youth, it was built by the Alexandria Seaport Foundation and launched May 6, 1995.
A short walk away at the marina you could find the Minnie V. Built in 1906 in Wenona, Delaware, the skipjack also had an historical marker. We learned these boats dredged for oysters in colder months and were used for cargo in others. Out of the thousands that once dotted the Chesapeake waters, the Minnie V is one of only a handful remaining.
With much disappointment in hand, I spoke with the Alexandria Seaport Foundation. After many years of service, the SV Potomac was retired and dismantled (the engine was donated to another boat). The good news is they plan to build two more and hope to find a suitable home along the city waterfront.
The Minnie V was taken back to Baltimore. Turns out it was pulling temporary duty. Living Classrooms Foundation brought it down as part of their outreach to make folks aware of their hands-on educational programs.
Full of mixed emotion, I returned home. Alexandria still has lots of motorized boat action, but these two were something special, a throwback to the days of calloused hands and salty grit.