The Herman M. Krenz Pilot House is a classic boat captain’s wheelhouse that came to the RFM in c1997 off a 53’ “buy boat.” The H.M. Krenz was built c1929 by Hy and Grover Lewis of Reedville. Years later it was preserved by Ryland C. Gaskins, Jr. of Ditchley (VA), and he is the one who donated the wheelhouse to the Museum. “She was built many years ago - way back when I was a little boy,” said retired boat builder Maston Krentz (son of Herman).
This was a big work boat, the boat of choice for so many watermen during the early-to-mid 20th century. Pound nets where much bigger then and required big boats with large crews to tackle the job of setting up and fishing the nets. The pilot house is made mostly of local spruce, and includes a large wheel, magnetic compass, and a galley aft that has built-in sleeping bunks and a sink. After COVID is under control the pilot house will reopen to visitors who can then walk through the wheelhouse – take a turn at the wheel and imagine being a fish captain!