Watermen harvest seafood from the rivers and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and have played an important part in the economy, history, and ecology of coastal Virginia for over 400 years. This museum preserves and interprets their material culture with exhibits that feature paintings, photographs, tools, and equipment, full sized boats and models.
Located on the York River, the museum hosts the Heritage Festival in July, with work boat races, seafood, crafts, and demonstrations. Popular education programs based on Virginia SOLs, designed for kindergarten through third grade, are offered in spring and fall. Programs for scouts, older students, and adults may also be arranged. Sightseeing and fishing cruises depart regularly from the museum's pier. The museum shop features a unique selection of work by local artists and nautical gifts.