For the first time in decades, there are schooners 'abuilding on the famed waterfront at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dawson Moreland & Associates are building not just one, but two 48' wooden schooners in the best of Maritime traditions. These 'twins' will be built simultaneously, frame for frame, plank for plank, alongside the historic Lunenburg Dory Shop at 175 Bluenose Drive. Follow their progress from keel laying to launch!

An artist's interpretation of the Twin Schooner Project

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review of Martha Seabury's offshore performance

Photo by Paul Bracken
We asked professional mariner, Capt. Michael Moreland, to write a review of the first of the new Lunenburg Schooners to be launched, the Martha Seabury's performance during her maiden voyage from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to Newport, Massachusetts. In light of events, including the rescue of three men off Cuttyhunk, MA not long after this photo was taken and the work required to ready the vessel for showing at Newport, we decided to wait a few days to post it. Here it is:

"Sailing across the Gulf of Maine aboard the newly launched and rigged 50' wooden schooner Martha Seabury, we encountered all kinds of weather including light airs, calms, lumpy seas and, on the last day, wind that built to 25-30 kts and seas up to 10'.  
"It was here that I knew how amazingly seaworthy this small vessel she is and how stoutly built she is.
"We had her reefed down with double reefed mainsail, single reefed foresail and the stays'l, with 25 kts on the beam and she was galloping along at 7-8 knots, taking the large, steep seas on the beam without a worry.  The crew on the tiller only took the occasional spray and the lee rail only rolled under once or twice.  
"What I found with her in these conditions is that she is simply a very powerful vessel and feels and behaves like a schooner much larger that she is.  Her ample freeboard and healthy beam serves her well for any deep sea conditions.  Her sail plan balanced her out nicely but she still wanted to drive to weather, which was good to see, as that strong wind could have easily been on the nose and we would have had to beat to windward, which she could have done with relative ease.
"All in all I find the Martha Seabury to be an incredible deep sea voyager, as well as a handy, fun schooner to mess about coastwise.  Coming from a big ship sailor, I would feel comfortable to make ocean crossings and think she would be safe and manageable in almost any waters.  Her interior is quite comfortable, especially with the kerosene lanterns giving a soft glow off all of her beautiful assortment of woods, which make her the bulletproof schooner she is."
Captain Michael Moreland
Schooner Martha Seabury

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Martha Seabury rescues three in Buzzards Bay

We're just today receiving details of a rescue operation carried out by the crew of the Schooner Martha Seabury as she sailed from Gloucester to Newport earlier this week. The crew, headed by Capt. Michael Moreland and including the vessel's owner Billy Campbell, Paul Bracken, Allison Phillips, Gabe St Denis, Dan Rutherford and Oliver Cote, is credited as saving the lives of the three young men rescued in Buzzards Bay. Here are excerpts from Capt. Moreland's official report:

September 10th, 2012 1930
The schooner Martha Seabury was underway, undersail in force 5 conditions and 2-3' seas, en route to Cuttyhunk Island, approximately 4 nm from the island.  The sun was just below the horizon and getting dark quick, when deckhand Allison Phillips spotted persons in the water waving the arms in distress.  They were about .5 nm away, and I immediately called to take in all sail and rounded up while starting the main engine.  
We motored up to the victims who were clinging to the top of an overturned 15' sailing dingy.  The three victims were in their 20's, with two in PFD's and one without one on.  It was quickly apparent that all three were hypothermic and low on strength and energy.  We called for them one by one to swim over to the schooner and we hoisted them aboard and quickly got them below decks were Allison Phillips began tending to them by removing their wet clothing and getting them wrapped in sleeping bags, as well as wool hats and socks.  Two of the three were violently vomiting seawater and were barely responsive.  Chief Mate Paul Bracken called the USCG on VHF 16 and began arranging a rendezvous to transfer the victims to get to shore....The USCG requested that we steam towards Wood's Hole, MA where they had deployed a 41' cutter towards us.  
Around 2015 we spotted the cutter and began comms with them and determined that we would heave to, and they would attempt to come alongside us in our lee.  It was quickly apparent that it was too rough for the transfer, even though the cutter coxswain disagreed, as the two vessels had very different rolling motions and damage to the schooner would have been unavoidable.  I agreed to quickly get one of the USCG medics onboard, with a touch and go maneuver, which was executed fairly well, and then immediately started steaming towards Cuttyhunk and calmer waters.  The medic onboard confirmed our assessment that the victims had stabilized and were in no immediate threat, and agreed that doing the transfer in calmer waters was appropriate as time was not a critical factor at this point.  At 2040, we got into the lee of a reef on the northeast side of Cuttyhunk, and the cutter came along side at which point the victims had much more strength and were easily transferred to the cutter.  The cutter crew and victims thanked us and we continued into Cuttyhunk harbour and got alongside for night. 

We are so very proud of, and thankful for, the efforts of the Martha Seabury's crew. To view a photo of them during dinner at a friend's home on Cuddyhunk later that night, please visit*

Monday, September 10, 2012

Postcard from the Martha Seabury

Ah the wonders of the wired world, folks! Just received this photo of the crew of the Schooner Martha Seabury, with owner Ollie Campbell at the tiller, as they made their way through the Cape Cod Canal earlier today. And just look at those faces - are these not some of the happiest people you've ever seen?
The schooner spent last night in Gloucester after making the passage from Lunenburg to Massachusetts in roughly 48 hours. She is headed to Newport, RI where she will be docked in the Oldport Basin areas of the Newport International Boat Show. Be sure to visit us there!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sea trials a success!

It was a labour (day) of love for the team of Lunenburg Schooners September 2 and 3 as they sailed the newly-launched Martha Seabury for the first time.
Aboard for the historic occasion was Dawson Moreland president Daniel Moreland, designer-builder David Westergard and owner Billy Campbell, among others. All were very pleased with the vessel's performance.
Then yesterday, Billy, his lovely new schooner and her crew, headed by Capt. Michael Moreland, departed Lunenburg bound for Gloucester and then on to Rhode Island where we will be exhibiting the Martha Seabury at the Newport International Boat Show September 13-16.
If you are in the area, please drop by and see us! We'll be in the Oldport Basin, at Oldport Dock M-10.