Schooners—vessels that carry fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts, with a taller mainmast when there are just two—show up in Dutch paintings as far back as the early 17th century. They’ve been rigged with topsails, gaffs, staysails, and Bermuda sails. During the few decades when they were celebrities of seagoing commerce, they were built longer and bristled with masts. Builders have experimented, fitting smaller boats with centerboards, constructing pinky or scow hulls. Mainers and Maine vacationers are well acquainted with the Windjammer fleets of old merchant schooners that emerged to create a rustic “maritourism” trade in the midcoast area, originating in the 1930s.
This month in our Onsite with Maynard blog, we’ll cast our eyes on some striking specimens that Maynard captured during his many decades of chasing wooden boats with his camera. We’ll see castles of sail underway, vicariously enjoy the leisure and hard work of passengers and crew, and appreciate the dedication of craftsmen shaping the bones of these wooden machines.