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Maine Windjammer Cruises Adds Pinky Schooner Summertime to Fleet; Will Offer Variety of Short Sails from Lincolnville Beach

Posted May 05, 2014, at 11:23 a.m.
The traditional Maine pinky schooner Summertime will offer daily sails from Lincolnville Beach this summer.
Don Barber
The traditional Maine pinky schooner Summertime will offer daily sails from Lincolnville Beach this summer.

Beginning in late June, the 53-foot pinky schooner Summertime will sail on several daily trips from Lincolnville Beach as part of the Maine Windjammer Cruises fleet.

There will be a picnic lunch sail, an afternoon sightseeing sail, and a happy hour cruise. Overnight cruises, including a lobster dinner and breakfast, will also be available. Reservations may be made by calling 207-236-0196 or emailing info@mainewindjammercruises.com. Bookings for the shorter trips may also be made at the kiosk on Lincolnville Beach if space is available. The Summertime will carry up to 18 passengers on day sails and up to seven on the one-night cruises.

“With the Summertime, we’ll be able to offer passengers two new options,” says Captain Ray Williamson of Maine Windjammer Cruises. “Every season, we meet hundreds of vacationers who want to experience the beauty of our unspoiled coastline and islands from the water. But some of them can’t spare the time for a two-, three-, four-, or five-night cruise on the Grace Bailey, Mercantile, or Mistress. By bringing the Summertime into the fleet, we’ll be able to give them the opportunity to get out on Penobscot Bay and enjoy a taste of traditional sailing for a couple of hours or an overnight.”

Also new to the Maine Windjammer Cruises fleet this summer is the classic, 27-foot wooden lobster boat Sally, built in 1941 in East Boothbay. Back in her home state after a complete restoration by the famous International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island, she will be used as a launch when needed, and also carry guests to Warren Island State Park for lobster picnics.

Adding even more to the excitement at Maine Windjammer Cruises this season is the company’s new initiative to ramp up efforts to do everything they can to respect and celebrate the local environment. This commitment includes the introduction of new Farm-to-Galley specialty cruises being offered three times this summer.

“The green boats are going even greener,” declares Kristi Williamson, referencing the distinctive green topsides of her family’s fleet. “Not only are we seeking out more and more local foods, we’re also making every effort to be as eco-friendly as possible. We’re using products made from recycled materials, and exploring ways to do even more recycling than we already do.”

The Summertime, like the company’s bigger schooners, has a notable heritage. Originated in Europe in the 1600s, its design derives its name from the “pinked,” or upturned, stern. The pinky was used in New England’s fishing fleet prior to the Revolutionary War and continued in use through the turn of the 20th century. Many of the paintings created by artist Fitz Henry Lane in the mid 1800s include a pinky or two among the larger brigantines, barques, and clippers.

The exceptionally stable design of these perky little schooners was praised in an 1873 issue of The Fisherman’s Memorial, published in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Thanks to their “…extreme buoyancy [and] little resistance to the power of ocean waves,” the article states, these vessels “would make comparatively good weather at times when larger ships would be laboring. They would mount almost on even keel upon the crest of the highest seas and settle into the hollows with the ease and grace of a wild duck.”

Pinky schooners were built in Maine as early as 1816, when Caleb Hodgdon, patriarch of the now famous Hodgdon Yacht Company in East Boothbay, built a 42-foot pinky schooner for the local fishing fleet.

The pinky Summertime was built using traditional methods in 1986 by George Allen, Bill Brown, and many dedicated volunteers in Brooklin, Maine. Construction incorporated a variety of locally cut and seasoned woods: oak for the keel and frames; locust for the stem and trunnels, or “tree nails,” that hold the double-sawn frames together; cedar for the planking; hackmatack for the top timbers and deck beams; and white pine for the deck. Most recently, the Summertime sailed out of Rockland harbor.

For more information, visit mainewindjammercruises.com or call 207-236-2938.

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