"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Restoration of Spirit of Massachusetts Begins

>> April 8, 2014


 Spirit will progress slowly down Commercial Street 
Wednesday morning April 9 from 0600 to 0700 to the new 
Portland Yacht Services shipyard west of the Casco Bay Bridge 


Portland, Maine – At 6 am Wednesday Brownell Systems will trailer the 125 foot schooner Spirit of Massachusetts down Commercial Street from the former Gowan Yard behind Becky’s Diner, under the Casco Bay Bridge and then across a large open expanse into the new Portland Yacht Services shipyard to begin an extensive restoration. The move is expected to take about an hour on the public streets and should not significantly affect morning traffic. Utility workers will be at the site to assist in the clearance of overhead utility wires. 

The 30-year-old Spirit is one of three traditional schooners owned by Maine-based Ocean Classroom Foundation (OCF), one of the largest operators of educational sailing vessels in the country. OCF recently moved its marine operations from Boothbay to Portland and has partnered with Portland Yacht Services as part of a long-term expansion of its fleet and programs. 

“The restoration of Spirit is an exciting turning point for us and our new presence here in Portland,” said Greg Belanger, OCF’s Executive Director. “This day would not have been possible without the support of Portland Yacht Services and the tremendous cooperation provided by the City of Portland. This will be the largest traditional ship restoration done in Portland in decades and will employ professional shipwrights as well as students and apprentices from boat building programs throughout Maine.” 

Since Spirit’s launch in 1984, she has welcomed aboard up to twenty high school or college students at a time and engaged them in fully accredited, educational programs in maritime history, literature, marine science, and seamanship/navigation. Ocean Classroom has also offered a variety of unaccredited and contract programs aboard Spirit and its other vessels, Harvey Gamage and Westward. Over the years some 30,000 students have sailed Spirit everywhere from Newfoundland to Venezuela throughout the Caribbean Sea and along the Atlantic Seaboard. Since her launch, 300 to 350 thousand sea miles have passed beneath her keel. 

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Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

>> July 9, 2013















                                               Harvey Gamage on the dock in front of the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.

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Westward Summer ShipYard

>> June 23, 2013

Work begines today! slowly for now but work none the less. Westward is currently docked At portland yacht services and will remain there for the summer. The goal for the summer yard time is to get the systems back on line and clean out the cobwebs from her below decks. WE NEED YOUR HELP. If you're around portland please stop by and lend a hand especially if you would like to learn about the engineering side of things. Even coming by in the after noon and swapping sea storys is as helpful as putting down paint as we bring this great ship back to life.

 Three year of sitting has taken its toll in the engine room.

          Only a few hours of work and some paint and Westward is on her way

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Summer Begins

>> June 21, 2013

Harvey Gamage has just returned to Boston after 5 days with Epiphany at Sea, her first youth sail of the summer.  The first of next week she sails for Portland with Seeds of Independence.
Amistad spent the week high and dry at Gowan's Shipyard, Portland.  Her port prop was sent out for repairs, her caulking was renewed as needed, and her bottom scraped and painted.  Soon she'll again be afloat continuing with yearly maintenance in preparation for waving the flag in CT all July.
Virginia has returned to her homeport of Norfolk, VA and to her owner VA Maritime.

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Ship - Shipmates - Self

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