Little HES is a classic example of a Chesapeake Bay "deadrise", built for fishing and crabbing in the summer and oystering in the winter. The term "deadrise" refers to the underwater shape of a hull. Little HES has a sharp vee-entry at the bow, a shallow vee-section amidships and ends with an upward curve at the transom. This shape combined with a hard chine makes it more stable and comfortable than a flat bottomed boat which tends to "pound" through the waves.
Little HES also has a cross-planked, or "herringboned" bottom, fastened at the kneel and chine. Other "deadrise" workboats were planked lengthwise on both their sides and bottoms.
In the early 1900's, when small engines became available,, working sailboats were converted to power to increase their range on the Bay. While a big boat may do well with a larger engine, a small deadrise would "squat" with the increased weight and not make good speed.
Boatwrights solved this problem by adding a "squatboard" under the transom. A large wooden platform (later of metal) was bolted along the waterline, along the prop and rudder. This provided additional lift to the hull and increased its speed. Soon new boats, designed with the flatter sections aft, were even faster. Chesapeake Bay workboats, both old and new, are often called "deadrise".