Historic Schooner Replica at FLIBS 2014

By MarEx 2014-10-27 12:27:00

The original COLUMBIA was a 141’ classic Gloucester Fishing Schooner built at the historic A.D. Story shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts and launched April 17, 1923. Essex was the center for American Fishing Schooner construction.

Designed by the innovative William Starling Burgess, the COLUMBIA was bred for speed. In the fall of 1923, the COLUMBIA challenged the BLUENOSE, Canada’s legendary schooner in the International Fishermen’s Cup Races in Halifax. The BLUENOSE was skippered by Captain Angus Walters and the COLUMBIA was commanded by Captain Ben Pine. 

Nearly winning the title, the COLUMBIA was narrowly defeated by the BLUENOSE and was one of the few American schooners to provide a challenge to BLUENOSE.

Tragedy struck the promising young COLUMBIA on August 24, 1927 near Sable Island, the notorious “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, where the COLUMBIA was lost with all hands in a gale. 

Decades later, Brian D’Isernia, owner of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. in Panama City, Florida, discovered the original lines plan of the COLUMBIA in the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Massachusetts. He took the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of bringing a significant piece of maritime history back to life. Drawn by her proud history and her beauty, Brian began the journey of bringing the COLUMBIA back to life, and returning her to the glory she deserves.

Working with John W. Gilbert & Associates of Boston, Massachusetts, the design was re-engineered with a steel hull instead of wood. An engine room and staterooms were added to the design. Covey Island Boatworks of Lunenburg Nova Scotia built the rigging and spars. Blocks were fabricated by A. Dauphinee & Sons and all the sails were constructed by Michelle Stevens Sailloft, LTD, both from the Second Peninsula, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Teak decking was completed by Teakdecking Systems of Florida.

Learn more about Eastern and the Columbia, and visit the Columbia in person at this year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.