Design and Construction
The Periauger hull was constructed at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC. Sweeps and masts were previously made by a team of volunteers in Hertford, NC.
The existence of Periauger workboats has been established by references to them in writings and records from the early 1700s; however, no archeological remains of them have been found. Therefore, the Periauger Project had to set about designing the craft before it could be built. Michael Alford, former curator of Maritime Research at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, designed the Periauger using historical records and our understanding of materials and construction techniques of the day. The vessel is basically a hollowed-out Cypress tree log, which has been split in half and a plank keel added between the two halves. Planking strakes are added to increase the freeboard. Periaugers are shallow draft, stable, cargo-carrying craft that are ideally suited to the shallow sounds, rivers and creeks of Eastern North Carolina.
The Periauger is 30 feet overall, with a beam of 7 feet. It carries two masts, about 25 feet tall, each with a single Bermuda sail. Eight rowing stations, each equipped with a 12-foot long sweep, provide alternative propulsion when the winds are not favorable.