North Carolinians, including Ocracokers, relied heavily on two-masted flat-bottomed vessels called periaugers to transport goods on the rivers, creeks and sounds along the coast in the 18th & 19th centuries. In addition to sails (either gaff-rigged or Bermuda-rigged), periaugers carried oars so they could be rowed.
Periaugers (sometimes called perogues) had no bowsprit, and were originally constructed from dug-out cypress logs. Later, the logs were sometimes split down the middle, and planks added between, to make a larger vessel. Some periaugers were constructed entirely of planks.
The periauger was so common in Colonial America that it was not considered necessary to document the boat thoroughly. Unfortunately, steam-powered vessels eventually replaced periaugers so completely that no physical evidence of the vessels remained by the middle of the 20th century.
In 2003, relying on extensive research and historical records, construction of a replica periauger was begun in Beaufort, North Carolina. This periauger, now berthed in Hertford, North Carolina, is the only known boat of its kind in the world.
Follow these links for more information, and to see photos: http://beaufortartist.blogspot.com/2007/10/periauger.html and http://perquimansrestoration.org/Periauger_OVPE.html.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter
is about the Unionist North Carolina State Government established at
Hatteras in 1861. You can read all about it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092114.htm.