About Schooner Adventure Mug Up

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.

Saving Another Piece of Gloucester’s History

Lothrop Foghorn Project #1

We were able to acquire a 2nd Lothrop Foghorn and are in the process of having it restored to working order. We’d like to share that process and tell about these famous maritime tools that were made right here in Gloucester and used worldwide.

This unique fog horn was manufactured by the L.D.Lothrop Co., in Gloucester, Mass. The fog horn was invented by Llewellyn Day Lothrop, born in Appleton, Maine in March of 1836. In 1880 Mr. Lothrop started a general ship chandler’s business in Gloucester. He invented different swivels & hooks for fishing, but was best known for the famous, Lothrop PATENT Fog Horn.

His business was located on Duncan Point (Harbor Loop area) on Locust St, which was removed during the Urban Renewal of the 1960’s that cleared off the hill dominated by the Fitz Henry Lane House. (Today the TD Bank parking lot occupies that spot.)

Watch for next installment covering the restoration work.

Restoring Adventure #4

August and September were crazy months for us. Finally have a moment to fill you all in….

Engine Installation – August 2012

Coast Guard inspecting engine bed prior to installation

future engine bed

building engine bed

further along

loading the engine

how one gets a very heavy engine on board…

just fits through the fish hold hatch

almost there

getting in place

Restoring Adventure Vocabulary Lesson # 1

Some of the new vocabulary to learn when restoring a National Historic Landmark schooner.

Task – Restoring the Shrouds on Adventure

Shrouds: support cables from the masts to starboard and port sides. Adventure has 12; 6 of which have been finished!!!!

Shrouds of our neighbor, Highlander Sea

Worming: wrapping waxed hemp twine in the 6 spiraling grooves along the twisted steel cable that form the core of the shrouds

Slush: various tar mixtures that are spread on the shrouds throughout the different stages (definitely not the yummy icy stuff)

Parceling: wrapping muslin cloth strips around tarred shrouds

Joanne Souza slushing and Bill Holmes parceling

Serving: twisting waxed hemp twine over muslin layer – VERY TIGHTLY. (Thank goodness for the unknown genius who invented the serving mallet to help speed this along!)

Jane Clark serving the line with the mallet

“Works of Art” – finished shrouds


Simple poem to help remember the process –

Worm and parcel with the lay

Turn and serve the other way

Dory Fishing on Schooner Adventure

What was dory fishing really like?

Created for Gloucester’s new Harbor Walk, Adventure has posted this 4 1/2 minute video featuring the wonderful historian and founder of the Gloucester Adventure, Inc., Joseph Garland, introducing Adventure and her captains. Actual film footage from Adventure’s fishing days is narrated by the 2nd captain Leo Hynes.

Check out the link below to view.

Update on Restoration Progress – June 2012

Restoration Report

June 6, 2012

  • The main mast and foremast has been stripped and painted.
  • The Captain’s cabin has been moved to CB Fisk and Greg Bover has been asked, and agreed, to be on the Vessel Committee and to be Team Leader for the restoration of the interior of the cabin.
  • The shrouds have been stripped and a set up constructed on the vessel to prepare the rigging. After a formal request to the National Park Service for requesting assistance with the rigging work, Jeremy Bumagin and John Newman presented a class in worming, parceling and serving and are authorized to assist us with any help or equipment needed for this project. Greg Bover has manufactured 2 serving mallets.
  • The USCG has inspected and OK’d all wire shrouds
  • Bill Whitney has ordered all parts for the engine. The new Twin Disc Transmission is at Guy Crudele’s shop on Pond Rd. The engine has been painted and looks great, photos have been sent to Jim Knott. The wheel has been ordered.
  • Bill Holmes and Bill Whitney looked at 2 tanks, Bill W. will call around for pricing
  • The lumber for the main boom has been delivered to Burnham’s Boat Yard. Bruce Slifer is laminating the spar. Bruce has put in almost $11,000 in volunteer labor and his work is excellent.
  • The Pettit Paint donation has been delivered thanks to contacts by Noble and his son Alastair at Alexseal Yacht Coatings.
  • Geoff Deckebach started as our shipwright through GMR, Monday, June 4th to install the main mast step.
  • The dory has been moved from the vessel to the GMR North Pier to be scrapped, painted then put in the water. A plan will be set in place for volunteer use overseen by Steve Willard.
  • Steve Willard continues on the project of painting the vessel and has scribed the cove lines.
  • We are awaiting the ballast plan and the engine bed plan from John Koopman. 20,000 lbs of ballast is at hand with the remainder delivered within a week. The USCG has agreed to volunteer services of installing the ballast and Joanne will contact CWO Luis Munoz as to their availability.
  • Haul out is planned for July.