Launch of Steamer Tremont

This shows the launching of the steamer Tremont at the Barbour Yard in Brewer in 1895. She sailed for the Bangor and Bar Harbor Steam Boat Company.

Steamer Sedgwick under Construction

The steamer Sedgwick was built at the Barbour Yard in Brewer in 1892, to carry passengers from Bangor to towns on the Eggemoggin Reach. Barbour was one of few Penobscot Bay area shipbuilders to build steam vessels in the nineteenth century.

Six-Masted Schooner George W. Wells


The George W. Wells was the first 6-masted schooner built. The first image shows her after her 1900 launch at the H.M. Bean yard wharf in Camden, after she has been outfitted for sea. Sails are bent onto the yards and gaffs.The working sloop swinging at a mooring alongside, probably only about 35 feet long, shows off the tremendous size of the 320-foot schooner. The second image shows her before her sails are bent on, with the last of the rigging underway.

Five-Masted Schooner Martha P. Small

Launched in Bath at the Percy & Small shipyard in 1901, the Martha P. Small carried coal for her Bath owners, then went into the South American trade during the First World War carrying case oil (kerosene). She was sold to Canadian owners in the spring of 1917 and continued sailing to South America, and was finally broken up in Montevideo in 1923.

Cabin of the Ship Benjamin F. Packard

The Down Easter Benjamin F. Packard was built in Bath, Maine in 1883 by Goss, Sawyer, and Packard, and named for Packard. She worked in the Cape Horn trade, New York to San Francisco and then west across the Pacific. She was sold to the Pacific Northwest in 1908, she worked carrying fishing workers and equipment to Alaska fish canneries in spring and returning with fish in the fall. She was retired in New York in 1927 after a trip as a barge. She became part of the Playland amusement park in Rye, New York. Heavily damaged in the Hurricane of 1938, she was broken up.

Down Easter Aryan in Light Wind

Aryan was the last full-rigged wooden ship built in the United States, launched at Phippsburg in 1893. Here it is photographed from a passing steamer, on a calm day. Capt. Andrew S. Pendleton of Searsport was the ship's master in 1905.

Down Easter Clarissa B. Carver

The Down Easter Clarissa B. Carver was built in Searsport, Maine in 1876 by George Carver. Here she is shown at the wharf in San Francisco, probably loading grain. The boiler on wheels on the wharf is used to power a steam winch which, used with the ship's yards and rigging, hoists grain sacks into the ship's hold.

Launch of Down Easter Henry B. Hyde

The ship Henry B. Hyde was a splendid ship and Down Easter, captained by a number of Searsport masters during her career. Launched from John McDonald's Bath shipyard in November, 1884, she had strong Searsport connections: eleven of the fourteen owners were from Searsport, though they owned just under half of the vessel. Considered to be the finest of the Down Easters, she was the fastest three-master of the post-clipper era. She measured 2463 tons with a length of 267 feet. Her typical voyages were New York to San Francisco, then to Liverpool with grain and back to New York.

Preparation for Launching

This diagram shows the arrangement of hull supports, called poppets, for the launch of the ship. The ship is built on building blocks and shores. Its weight is transferred to the launching cradle and poppets just before launch by wedging the ship up from the keel blocks. The poppets and launching cradle are fitted and then the wedges are knocked away. The cradle slides down greased ways, carrying the ship into the water.

This image is from Basil Greenhill and Sam Manning, The Evolution of the Wooden Ship, 1988, p. 177. Used by permission of the artist, Sam Manning.

Hemp Rope Rigging Sample

Sample of hemp rope rigging, used for standing rigging before wire rope came into use. It is four strand rope, which stretches less than the more common three strand. This sample has been "wormed;" the depressions between lays of the line filled with smaller marline. This creates a smooth surface for wrapping the rope with canvas strips to make it watertight, a process called "parcelling." The last step is wrapping the parcelling with tightly wrapped marline or "serving" it.


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