Schooner Susan N. Pickering

This view of the three-masted schooner Susan N. Pickering shows the vessel on the marine railway, hauled out for maintenance. Belfast's Cottrell yard built the Pickering in 1882, and that is where she is hauled. She was registered to Deer Isle, measured 319 tons, 135' long, and owned by the Pickering family.

Schooner Mabel in Shipyard

The schooner Mabel was the first vessel in the Camden windjammer fleet. Captain Frank Swift had the idea that he could keep schooner sailing alive by taking passengers. He chartered Mabel in 1936 from Captain William Sherwood of Deer Isle who went as captain, with his wife as cook. The first passengers were three ladies from Boston. Mabel had been built in 1881 in Milbridge, Maine, and was working hauling pulp wood and other general cargo around Penobscot Bay. Here, the schooner is hauled out in Deer Isle for maintenance.

Sail Loft

Sail loft in Thomaston. With thousands of sailing vessels to be outfitted in Penobscot Bay over the course of the nineteenth century, sailmaking was an important and popular trade. Note the tools used by a sailmaker in the end of the bench. Sail lofts needed much open floor space. One loft had a suspended wood stove in order to heat the space without losing continuous floor space.

Sail Diagram of a Ship

Diagram showing the sails and masts of a full-rigged sailing ship.

Midship Section of a Composite Vessel

This diagram shows a cross-section of a composite iron and wood vessel, much like those built in Britain. Composite construction used iron for frames and deck beams. This design provided greater strength and cargo capacity than an all-wood vessel, making it hard for Maine shipbuilders to compete.

From Capt. H. Paasch, Illustrated Marine Encyclopedia, 1890, Plate 13.

Laying the Keel

The keel is the fundamental structural member of a wooden ship. This diagram shows how the keel is put together, particularly when a single timber cannot be found to make the keel out of one piece. For this example, the keel is about 12" wide and the pieces are fastened at scarf joints with bolts.

This image is from Basil Greenhill and Sam Manning, The Evolution of the Wooden Ship, 1988, p. 99. Used by permission of the artist, Sam Manning.

Launch of Frederick Billings 1885

The Frederick Billings was the largest square-rigged ship built on Penobscot Bay, and the only four-masted ship. Its builder, Carleton, Norwood & Co. , made much of its money from the lime industry, building, owning and operating vessels. The Billings measured 2496 tons, 278 feet long.

Gilchrist Shipyard, Belfast

Ship under construction "in frame" next to the schooner Myra B. Weaver. This was the location of the Carter shipyard in Belfast.

Frame Construction

This diagram shows how the timbers and futtocks overlap in double-sawn frame construction. Here, butt-chocks are used (9) to help hold together the butts of frame timbers.

From Capt. H. Paasch, Illustrated Marine Encyclopedia, 1890, Plate 4.

Forward Portion of Ship Structure

This diagram is a longitudinal cutaway of the bow of the ship, showing stem, keel, frames, keelson, stanchions, and deck beams.

From Capt. H. Paasch, Illustrated Marine Encyclopedia, 1890, Plate 1


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