Working to preserve the vessels, facilities and skills of our maritime heritage

Northwest Schooners - A Vibrant Legacy


Northwest Schooners

The Pacific Northwest has been home to hundreds of sturdy schooners, starting with the Exact which in 1851 brought the Denny Party to what would become Seattle. This graceful heritage continues with dozens of schooners, sailing the protected waters of Washington and British Columbia. Follow the links below to learn more about these some of the schooners that have sailed Northwest waters.

Adventuress* built 1913
Alcyone* built 1956
C.A. Thayer† built 1895
Exact built pre 1850
Lavengro* built 1927
Lion's Whelp* built 1929
Mallory Todd* built 1981
Martha* built 1907
Merrie Ellen* built 1922
Red Jacket* built 1920
Spike Africa* built 1977
Suva* built 1925
W.N. Ragland* built
Wawona† built 1895
Zodiac built 1924

  *active   †other

The American fishing schooners have now gone out of existence, except for one or two vessels preserved as museum exhibits. During the last sixty years of their evolution, as sail-driven commercial craft, they were admired at home and abroad for their sailing qualities, seaworthiness, and beauty.
Schooner Lavengro sailing on Seattle's Lake Union

The American Fishing Schooners, 1825-1935
by Howard I. Chapelle

Schooner: A fore and aft rigged vessel of any practical number of masts above one, seven being the largest number ever used.

The Mariner's Dictionary
By Gershom Bradford

In 1973, when historian Chapelle wrote these words, it did appear that the last of the wooden schooners would sink beneath the waves with scarcely a ripple of notice. Fortunately a number of people and organizations around the country had already fallen in love with a number of the surviving tall ships, and were working to preserve them. Northwest Schooner Society volunteers have a long history of working to preserve historic vessels, and to introduce hundreds of people each year to our rich maritime heritage.

NWSS offers programs aboard the privately owned 136 foot Schooner Zodiac and aboard the Society-owned Schooner Lavengro ranging from sunset sails in the waters of Lakes Washington and Union, to multi-day cruises for high school students in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

Both schooners are crewed and maintained predominantly by volunteers.



P.O. Box 75421
Seattle, WA 98175

Copyright Northwest Schooner Society 2011

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