Sep 13, 2013
08:16 AM
Arts & Entertainment

Connecticut Schooner Festival to Light Up New London Tonight, All Weekend

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  • Virginia, a 121-foot wooden replica of its original twentieth century pilot vessel which sailed in the Chesapeake Bay from 1917 to 1926. Homeport: Norfolk, VA.
  • Sophia Christina, a 62-foot wooden vessel modeled after an 1870's Boston pilot schooner. Homeport: Weekapaug, RI.
  • Mary E, a 75-foot authentic clipper built in 1906. Homeport: Essex, CT.
  • Mystic, a 170-foot three-masted square topsail schooner built and launched in 2007. Homeport: Mystic, CT.
  • Adventurer, built in 1925 in Mystic, CT, has sailed in Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and prizes in Provincetown Great Schooner Regatta. Homeport: Norwalk, CT.
  • Brilliant, Mystic Seaport’s prize-winning 64-foot schooner described by Wooden Boat magazine as one of the 100 most beautiful classic boats in existence. Homeport: Mystic, CT.
  • Equinox; a racing rig Muscongus Bay Schooner, owned by Mathew Otto and built by Ralph Stanley in Southwest Harbor Maine, 1983-1984, 28-feet in length on deck with a spar length of about 40-feet, moored in North Basin above Mystic Seaport. Homeport: Mystic, CT.
  • Irena, a Tom Colvin Gazelle model 42' schooner, built of steel in Florida in 1984, launched in Seattle in 1986, moved to Waukegan, Illinois, for Great lake sailing. Homeport: Newport, RI.
  • Lelanta, a 1929 custom designed private yacht by Boston designer John G Alden and built of steel by G de Vries Lentsch at Amsterdam, Holland. Homeport: Sag Harbor, NY.
  • Malabar II, a two-masted gaff-rigged schooner designed in 1922 by John Alden in Boston Massachusetts. Homeport: Vineyard Haven, NY.
  • Mystic Whaler, a reproduction of a late 19th century coastal cargo schooner that was designed for the passenger trade by Chubb Crockett of Camden, Maine. Homeport: New London, CT.
  • Niamh, a 42-foot Tom Colvin Saugeen Witch schooner. Homeport: Thimble Island, CT.

Historically, schooners have played an important role in the development of our state and country.  They were hardly strangers in Connecticut waters as the country struggled against the mighty British navy; they hauled cargo, and, sadly, at times slaves. Arguably the most well known of this class, La Amistad, was intercepted in Long Island Sound by a Revenue Cutter ship and escorted into New London, where it remained moored for more than a year behind the federal Customs House which remains in service to this day. In 2000, Mystic Seaport launched the Freedom Schooner Amistad, an approximate replica of the original. Today, her mission is education.

The Connecticut Schooner Festival, a production of OpSail CONNECTICUT, is a celebration of our state's maritime heritage, history and spirit of innovation.  Working with community partners, our purpose is to draw attention to the important role the sea has played in the formation of our state and nation, and to honor the role schooners played in that development. The festival takes place Sept. 11 – 15, starting at Mystic Seaport and moving to the historic city of New London.  Additional information may be found at

Anyone interested in trying to squeeze in two lighted boat parades this weekend should check out the Riverlights Boat Parade in Milford-Stratford to raise money to fight cancer.

If you're looking for other dining choices in the New London area tonight or beyond, see our Best of Connecticut 2013, or download it as an iPad app. Also make sure to vote in our Readers' Choice: Best Restaurants 2014 survey, which is live online now.


Connecticut Schooner Festival to Light Up New London Tonight, All Weekend

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