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THE STATE OF MAINE'S BOATING NEWSPAPER Volume 28 Issue 12 December 2015 Schooner HARVEY GAMAGE to Sail to Cuba


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Maine Coastal News FREE

PORTLAND – At one time almost every harbor o n the coast of Maine was fi lled with schooners. Some were used for fi shing, others for the coastal trades, and some even went deep-water sailing to parts all over the world. Following World War I, the number of schooners decreased dramatically. Today there are no schooners sailing commercially as they have been replaced by the tractor trailers. The only remaining survivors of that era can be seen at Bar Harbor, Camden, Rockland and Portland. It has been a long time since one underwent a major refi t, but that is what happened to HARVEY GAM- AGE at Portland Yacht Service in Portland for the past 14 months. Now she is ready to make a historic voyage to Cuba. Heading the project is Greg Belanger, former Executive Director of Ocean Class- room Foundation. He explained: “A few years ago, we approached Portland Yacht Services and Phin Sprague in hopes of relo- cating Ocean Classroom’s offi ce and oper- ation to Portland. Our strategy was to align with a large shipyard to leverage its marine services and improve operational effi ciency. Ocean Classroom had been hugely suc- cessful providing excellent at sea programs for more than 20 years, but by the time I arrived there was an aging fl eet (schooners HARVEY GAMAGE, SPIRIT OF MAS- SACHUSETTS and WESTWARD) and signifi cant debt. All three of the schooners needed major repair. In the end, we made a

decision that Ocean Classroom couldn’t go any further in its current confi guration and that the three vessels needed to be sold.” “The SPIRIT OF MASSACHUSETTS was sold to a restaurant owner (where it serves as a dockside attraction) and the other two vessels were purchased by Mr. Sprague as part of a negotiated settlement with the mortgage holder,” Belanger said. “It was a very diffi cult decision and a painful time, but Phin (Sprague) was committed to putting the two remaining schooners back in service and we were grateful for that.” “The HARVEY GAMAGE was built in 1973 in South Bristol by Harvey Gamage; since we planned to base the new opera- tions in Maine, we thought it best to keep the Maine-built schooner and we set about fi xing her fi rst. We knew it was going to take some extensive work but the project proved bigger and took longer than we expected.” Greg continued, “Phin (Sprague) insist- ed that the fundamentals of the boat must be sound. The rebuild included more than 50 new planks and many new frames. Although there were a lot of innovations there was also a respect for tradition. For example, throughout we used trunnels (treenails) in addition to metal nails to fasten the planks. But the work also included making many design changes and modern improvements. In the amidships area there are all new bunks with cork fl ooring and LED lighting. With the assistance of a naval architect we rede-

signed and built a new rudder that would be larger and more effi cient. Much of the bow of the boat – which had always leaked -- is new. I am happy to say that in the sea trials last week … it was bone dry. In short the boat is in terrifi c shape and ready for years of voyaging.” “At fi rst the plan was to have the

HARVEY GAMAGE operated by a new non-profi t education group that would run programs similar to those conducted by Ocean Classroom,” Belanger said. “Ul- timately the plan proved unworkable and Phin (Sprague) asked me to work with him to develop a new business model that would focus on providing the vessel to a variety of educational organization – particularly in Maine – that could charter the vessel for their own programs,” Belanger said. “Phin (Sprague) did not want to see us run another school ship program. Instead we developed a plan to provide the vessel as a platform that is maintained and crewed professionally and we here in the offi ce stay focused on the marine operations. We offer a series of options for the client – ed- ucational organizations -- as opposed to the more traditional semester at sea approach that provides a set curriculum and its own teachers.” Belanger explains the challenge of the school ship model: “You have to maintain a marketing person, a program development person, an education director, instructors, and you have to have a fairly

C o n t e n t s

Publisher's Note Calendar of Events

4 4

Passed Over the Bar: Lash/Frappier 5 New Models from BlueJacket

Gamage Shipyard's New Manager 7 U. S. Navy News

6 8

Waterfront News MMA News

EL FARO Update MMM Exhibit

Schooner Capt.s Awarded BOWDOIN News

9 9 9

10 10

Coast Guard Changing Signals Rockland High School Sailing Commercial Fishing News

DELA Director's Report

Misc. Commercial Fishing News Boat Yard News


11 12

Tim Hodgdon Wins Award

10 Wilbur Repairs Patrol Boat '70s Memories: Shaky Tower Maritime History


History from the Past Classifi ed Ads

15 19 22

23-26 27-31

sophisticated administration and accounting systems to recruit and process individual students. Basically you are running a small private school and operating a large schoo- ner simultaneously; it is very diffi cult to generate enough revenue to staff for both. We looked at that model and said let’s just focus on running the boat.” “We decided to base operations in two regions to allow schools to plan their individual charters. In the summer we will operate the HARVEY GAMAGE in Gulf of Maine and may sail to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland – perhaps as far as Greenland occasionally. For the winter program we intend to base our operations in southern Cuba. I sailed a schooner to Cuba in 2010 and have a tremendous interest in what is happening there. The diplomatic process is underway, but that transformation is not complete. Interest in Cuba is very high and many American school programs are being established there. Offering charters for stu- dents in Cuba to explore the island seemed like a great way to reintroduce the HARVEY GAMAGE,” Belanger said. With work on the vessel almost com- plete attention is now focusing on getting ready for the sail to Cuba. “You can sail into Cuba now under the new licensing regulations,” said Greg. “We have met with the State Department and other agencies to

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