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            Dudley was built in 1938 by Gilbert White in Foxwell, Virginia for Captain Walter Biddlecomb. Mr. White was

69 at the time, his many years of experience show in the quality of Dudley’s construction and the sweetness of her design. The Biddlecomb family had a number boats built by Mr. White, trusting in his integrity and ability.

           Dudley was built for the deep water pound net fishery on the lower Bay. Locally known as “deck boats”, these boats were used to tend the fish traps and haul the catch to market. The catch included any of the species moving up and down the Bay, including Spot, Rock, Herring, Blues and Menhaden. Captain Walter and his two sons Fred and Dudley fished her until about 1980 when the large purse seining boats took over the fishery. 

            In the mid 80s Captain Fred Biddlecomb began using Dudley to take fishing parties out on the Bay. Over the next 30 years, he took great care of Dudley and brought many a smile to faces as customers fished or his family enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks.

            For her entire life she was berthed at the same dock in Fairport, Va., becoming a beloved part of the life of Cockrell Creek. It is important to realize that this great old boat provided a means to make a living for an entire extended family, that she was an important part of the community.

            Dudley is now owned by Capt Woody Labat. Over the last three years he has brought Dudley to the standards for a USCG inspected vessel. He now invites you to come aboard for an outdoor adventure or a relaxing evening cruise.

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