The Gloucester Adventure, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non‑profit historic preservation and maritime educational organization, was established in 1988 to preserve the maritime heritage of Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest fishing port, and to serve as steward of the National Historic Landmark dory-fishing Schooner Adventure. Our mission is to preserve the Schooner Adventure, the last of the great Gloucester Grand Banks fishing schooners, for the enrichment of future generations and their love of the sea; to enable the Adventure to serve as a community resource for maritime educational programming; and to operate Adventure at sea as a living symbol of America’s maritime heritage.
The Schooner Adventure was built in 1926 at the John F. James Shipyard in Essex, Massachusetts at the end of the commercial Age of Sail. The Schooner Adventure was designed by the famous marine architect Thomas McManus as a “knockabout” – without a bowsprit for the safety of the crew. Carrying a sailing rig, diesel engine, and 14 dories, Adventure was an exceptionally fast and able vessel, the ultimate evolution of the fishing schooner. Adventure was a “highliner,” the biggest moneymaker of all time, landing nearly $4 million worth of cod and halibut during her fishing career. When retired in 1953, Adventure was the last American dory fishing trawler left in the Atlantic. In 1955, the schooner was converted into a sail-powered passenger vessel, popularly known as a windjammer. Sailing out of Camden, the Schooner Adventure carried passengers on cruises off the coast of Maine until 1987. In 1988, the vessel was donated to the community of Gloucester by Capt. Jim Sharp of Camden, ME, to serve as a community resource.
The Schooner Adventure was listed on The National Register of Historic Places in 1989. In 1994, the Adventure was designated a National Historic Landmark. In further recognition of the schooner’s importance, the Schooner Adventure was declared an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures in 1999. In 2006, the successful campaign to Save the Adventure became a critical aspect of Gloucester’s designation as a Preserve America Community.