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

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