The skipjack last named Faith had four other names during her lifetime, including Mark's Ark, Lady Agnes, Diamond Girl, and Ada Fears. Built as a bugeye-rigged pleasure craft, she spent years dredging after being converted to a skipjack rig.

Skipjack Faith
Faith (formerly Ada Fears), 21 February 2016

More Photos


Her final name was Faith, but this skipjack had at least five different names over the course of her relatively short life, the others being Mark's Ark, Lady Agnes, Diamond Girl, and Ada Fears.

She was built in 1968 by Curtis Applegarth at Applegarth Boatworks in Oxford, Maryland, possibly the last true skipjack built by him. Originally configured with a bugeye rig as a three-sail bateau, she was built as a pleasure boat for Dr. Irving Marks, who named her Mark's Ark. Marks owned her until 1977, when he sold her to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, which in turn sold her that year to Capt. Jim McGlincy.

McGlincy wanted a working dredge boat and converted her to the skipjack rig she wore for the rest of her life. He also renamed her Lady Agnes after his mother. As has been done with many skipjacks, he outfitted her with working gear salvaged from other skipjacks, including a wheel and steering gear from Upshur Q, built in 1905 and at that time wasting away in Deal Island. McGlincy put Lady Agnes to work dredging mainly out of Cambridge and Oxford for about four years. When she almost went down under the weight of her own cargo, McGlincy decided to give her up and in 1981 sold her to Clarke Reed.

Reed kept her at the Pier Street Marina in Oxford. It is unknown whether she was a working or pleasure boat at this time, but one report has Paul Holland dredging her in the 1980s. During his ownership, Reed did some work on her, including the mast and transom.

In June 1991, Lady Agnes was bought by Kirk R. Irwin who renamed her Diamond Girl and did a major overhaul in order to charter her for day sails.

Seven years later, in July 1998, Irwin sold her to Carl Oulton who again renamed her. This time, she became Ada Fears, named after Oulton's grandmother. In 2000, Oulton replaced the mast, but sometime soon after sold her to Thomas S. Doherty.

Ada Fears left the Chesapeake Bay with Doherty, who took her to Tuckerton, New Jersey, not without incident. After going through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, she headed down Delaware Bay but began sinking and had to put in to Fortescue Harbor with the help of the Coast Guard. With a broken down Perkins Elmer 40-hp diesel engine and fuel pump problems, she finally arrived in Tuckerton, "sailing and limping on up the Bass River," as Doherty reported.

Doherty sailed Ada Fears as a pleasure boat on the local New Jersey waters for several years, then sold her in the mid-2000s to Capt. Brian Conrad.

Conrad was an oyster biologist who lived in North Carolina, but as a kid growing up in Rock Hall, Maryland, had admired the oyster boats coming in to port. He decided to rescue what had become a neglected skipjack and sailed her back to the Chesapeake, making her homeport Ridge, Maryland, in a creek off the St. Mary's River. He spent the following years gradually repairing and maintaining her, offering day sails and charters and participating in events throughout the Bay.

Still living and working in North Carolina, Conrad made sure to return to Maryland every Labor Day to participate in the Deal Island Skipjack Race. In 2009, a too-close encounter with another boat's boom took off Ada Fears' bowsprit, which was later replaced. But by 2014, health problems forced Conrad to give her up, and she was found for sale on Craigslist for a firm price of $10,000.

She had been on land at Deal Island for at least a year. She needed work, but was deemed "in decent shape." Her Craigslist ad said she had no winders, pushboat, dredging gear or main sail, and her inboard engine had been removed but was available for rebuild. Conrad had a few responses, but it was Floyd W. "Bunky" Chance, Jr., who took a chance on her that year.

He first saw her back in the 1980s when she was Diamond Girl and then Ada Fears. "She's called Faith now cause that's what I'm running on," he said when he bought her. "Her name's changed so much I'm not bothered by changing it again, so she'll be dredging this year as Faith." He put her back to work dredging, with her homeport listed as Bozman, but we found her dredging out of Deal Island in 2016.

By 2020, she was again for sale for $10,000 and needing "TLC." The next year, she was found on land on Tilghman Island, still owned by Chance, and reported "in rough shape." Still there in 2023, she was still in sad shape but said to be salvageable, though her port chine was broken. But by the end of 2023, word had it that she had been "cut up into little pieces," and it has since been confirmed that Mark's Ark/Lady Agnes/Diamond Girl/Ada Fears/Faith no longer survives under any name.

Please help keep this information up to date by submitting news or corrected facts about any of these boats and letting us know of skipjacks not yet included on this site.