Evolution of the American Fishing Schooner

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  • Pub No.: 5664
Joseph William Collins/The American fishing schooner from the early to the late nineteenth century.

by Joseph William Collins

"Oh, see how she scoons! The startling tones of an excited bystander cleft the air with this exclamation, as he witnessed the "peculiar skipping motion" of  a little fishing vessel that received its baptism i Gloucester harbor. This "ketch" was rigged in a new and remarkable manner, having gaffs to her sails instead of the lateen yards previously in general use, and the luff of the sails bent to hoops on the masts. Her builder, Captain Andrew Robinson, who invented this novel arrangement of spars and sails, was apparently undertermined as to her name up to the moment of her launching; for history indicates that he was quick to cath the inspiration of the curious words of the looker-on and, breaking a bottle of rum over her bow, shouted: "A scooner let her be!"

24 pages

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