In 1965, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, there was the last operating fleet of sailing work boats in the United States. Forty-odd "Skipjacks" were still used by Maryland watermen to dredge up oysters from the Bay. At that time, the fleet had survived because of a Maryland conservation law which prohibits the use of motor power for oyster dredging. The watermen traditionally marked the opening of each oystering season with a skipjack race which the Maryland State Tourist Board incorporated into its annual "Chesapeake Bay Appreciation Day."
The original negative of Watermen was lost, and a new negative was made with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation. That negative and a new proof print from it are stored in the Folkstreams archive in Chapel Hill, NC.
- Atlanta International Film Festival, Bronze Medal,