Adventure (schooner)

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Adventure (schooner)
United States
Builder: John F. James & Sons Shipyard
Launched: 16 September 1926
General characteristics
Type: Schooner
Tonnage: 130 gross register tons (GRT)
  • 122 ft (37 m) (LOA)
  • 109 ft (33 m) (LWL)
Beam: 24 ft 6 in (7.47 m)
Height: 110 ft (34 m)
Draft: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
Installed power:
Sail plan: Gaff rigged topsail schooner
Complement: 27
Adventure (schooner)
Adventure (schooner) is located in Massachusetts
Adventure (schooner)
Location Gloucester, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°36′56.3″N 70°39′14.7″W / 42.615639°N 70.654083°W / 42.615639; -70.654083Coordinates: 42°36′56.3″N 70°39′14.7″W / 42.615639°N 70.654083°W / 42.615639; -70.654083
Built 1926
Architect Thomas F. McManus
NRHP Reference # 89002054
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 11 December 1989[1]
Designated NHL 19 April 1994[2]

The 1926 schooner Adventure is one of the last of the famous Grand Banks fishing schooners of Gloucester, Massachusetts. She is one of only two knockabout (schooners having no bowsprit) fishing schooners surviving.[2]

Adventure was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1994.[2][3]


Designed by Thomas F. McManus[4] of Boston and built at the John F. James & Son Yard in Essex, Massachusetts, for Captain Jeff Thomas of Gloucester, Adventure was one of the last wooden sailing vessels of her kind built for the dory-fishing industry.

Adventure, named for one of the fantasy fleet of ships drawn by Captain Thomas's young son, is a knockabout (spoonbow) schooner, designed without a bowsprit for the safety of the crew. The McManus knockabout design was regarded by maritime historian, Howard I. Chapelle, as "the acme in the long evolution of the New England fishing schooner."[5] Launched on 16 September 1926, Adventure measured 122 feet (37 m) from bow to stern, sported a gaff topsail rigging and carried a 120 horsepower (89 kW) diesel engine, fourteen dories, and a crew of twenty-seven. She fished the once bountiful Grand Banks of the North Atlantic from her home port of Gloucester from 1926 to 1953 under Captain Jeff Thomas and later, Captain Leo Hynes. Adventure was considered a highliner,[clarification needed] the biggest money-maker of all time, landing nearly $4 million worth of cod and halibut during her fishing career. When she retired, Adventure was the last American dory-fishing schooner in the North Atlantic.[4]

In 1954, Adventure was sold to Donald Hurd, Dayton Newton, and Herbert Beizer and was refitted for the windjammer trade, carrying vacationing passengers up and down the Maine coast. The fish pens were converted into cabins, and the engine was removed to make room for sleeping accommodations. Adventure's grace, beauty, and prowess sailing in the Gulf of Maine earned her the nickname "Queen of the Windjammers."

In 1964 she was sold to Captain Jim Sharp [6] of Camden, Maine, who sailed her as a windjammer for nearly twenty-four years. In 1988, Captain Sharp donated Adventure to the people of Gloucester to be preserved as Gloucester's historic tall ship and to be used to inform and educate the public about the important role of fishing in American history.

In 1988, the non-profit group, Gloucester Adventure, Inc., was formed to preserve the schooner as a monument to the history of Gloucester and for the education and pleasure of the public. The group is dedicated to preserving Adventure and operating her at sea, developing educational programs, and heightening public awareness of Gloucester's role in the development of the American fishing industry as well as the importance of maintaining and protecting the fisheries.

Through the efforts of the Gloucester Adventure, Inc. and dedicated volunteers, Adventure is now a prominent destination site on the Essex National Heritage Area Maritime Trail,[7] is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated National Historic Landmark.[2] In 1999, Adventure was honored to be selected as an Official Project of Save America's Treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Adventure is currently[when?] undergoing final restoration at Maritime Gloucester on Harbor Loop in Gloucester MA. In September 2012 she was fitted with a Detroit Diesel 671 and moved under her own mechanical power for the first time since 1954. In August 2013 she sailed out of Gloucester Harbor for the first time under full sails.

As of June 8th 2015 the Adventure received her Passenger Vessel certificate by the United States Coast Guard.[8] Thus ending the long 'restoration' and beginning the eternal maintenance that such vessels require.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Adventure (Schooner)". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 18 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  3. ^ Foster, Kevin J. (1 November 1993). "National Historic Landmark Nomination / Adventure (Knockabout Schooner)" (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
    "Accompanying photos, exterior and interior, from 1937, 1985, and 1989" (pdf). National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  4. ^ a b Garland, Joseph E. (1985). Adventure: Last of the Great Gloucester Dory-Fishing Schooners. Curious Traveller Press. pp. 29–36. ISBN 1892839059. 
  5. ^ Chapelle, Howard I. (1973). The American Fishing Schooners: 1825-1935. W.W. Norton and Co. p. 309. ISBN 0-393-03123-3. 
  6. ^ "Title unknown". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2012-10-03. [not in citation given]
  7. ^ "Schooner Adventure Gloucester, Massachusetts". Essex National Heritage Area. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  8. ^

External links[edit]