SSV Tabor Boy

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malformed flag imageUnited States
Owner: Tabor Academy
Launched: 1914
Acquired: 1954
Fate: Sail Training Vessel
Status: (Very) Active
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 99 grt
Length: 92 feet
Beam: 20 feet
Draft: 10 feet 4 inches
Propulsion: Auxiliary Sail
Sail plan: Gaff Topsail Schooner
Complement: 24
Armament: Signal Cannon (previously)

Billed as "Part sail training vessel, part classroom, and part lab," the SSV Tabor Boy is a 92-foot gaff-rigged, two-masted topsail schooner that has been a part of the Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts since 1954. SSV stands for “Sailing School Vessel” and is the U.S. Coast Guard’s designation for the schooner. She is one of two Coast Guard inspected vessels in her class that operate in the Northeast United States. [1] She is also the only vessel licensed to sail with a single captain and a crew comprised entirely students.

Orientation at Sea[edit]

Each summer Tabor offers all incoming students a one-week sailing adventure aboard the schooner, Each week of the seven-week "Orientation at Sea" program brings together fifteen new students, one or two Tabor faculty members, and current student crew members for six days of sailing, exploring, and learning along the coast of Massachusetts. For new students, the cruise is a great introduction to Tabor. They have the opportunity to make friends with fellow newcomers, teachers, and returning students before starting school in the fall, while at the same time enjoying a general introduction to oceanology, marine biology, and environmental studies. As part of the schooner's crew, students also learn to handle sail, stand watch, steer a course, perform emergency at sea situations, and take part in the various other duties involved in manning a large sailing vessel.[2]


Built in 1914 in the Netherlands as Lotsenschoner II, she was initially constructed to serve as pilot ship in Amsterdam for the Dutch pilotage authorities. In 1923 she was acquired by the Dutch Merchant Marine who renamed her Bestevaer and used her to train officer candidates. During the Second World War the ship was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine, which she served until the end of the war. She briefly went to the Russians before being reclaimed by the Netherlands and upon her return became private property. In 1950 Bestevaer was equipped as a yacht and sold to R. C. Allen of R. C. Allen Business Machines in Holland, Michigan. Allen sailed her to America and in 1954 presented her as a gift to the Tabor Academy who renamed her S.S.V. Tabor Boy. She is the fourth ship so named to serve the Tabor Academy.[3] Today, the SSV Tabor Boy is a Coast Guard-inspected and certified Sailing School Vessel and is equipped with up-to-date safety gear and navigation electronics. Her various programs offer Tabor students a broad variety of opportunities to experience and learn from the sea. Tabor Boy has sailed between Maine and the Caribbean Sea, including a 1993 voyage through the Panama Canal.[4] In 2006, D.N. Kelley & Sons shipyard in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, subcontracted NorEast Marine Systems to do a total refit on the ship which included: Rebuilding water maker, installing new refrigeration, rewiring AC/DC electrical panels, installing new plumbing for all domestic water and re-designing the engine room.[5]


  1. ^ "Schooner TABOR BOY." Tabor Academy. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2010. <>.
  2. ^ "Tabor Boy Orientation." Tabor Academy. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2010. <>.
  3. ^ Schauffelen, Otmar. Chapman Great Sailing Ships of the World. New York: Hearst, 2005. Print.
  4. ^ "Schooner History." Tabor Academy. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2010. <>.
  5. ^ "Tabor Boy." NorEast Marine Systems. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 July 2010. <>.