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Pride of Baltimore in October of 1981

The Pride of Baltimore was an authentic reproduction of a 19th-century Baltimore clipper topsail schooner commissioned by citizens of Baltimore, Maryland. It was lost at sea with four of its twelve crew on May 14, 1986. The Pride of Baltimore II, a replica vessel of more modern design commissioned to replace the Pride in 1988, now sails as a Goodwill Ambassador from Baltimore and the State of Maryland.

Chasseur: The original "Pride of Baltimore"

The Pride was originally built as an authentic reproduction of a 19th-century Baltimore clipper schooner. She was not patterned after any particular vessel, but rather she was designed as a typical Baltimore Clipper as they were in their heyday. She was named, in a round-about way, for the legendary Baltimore-built topsail schooner Chasseur sailed by the privateer Thomas Boyle: The Chasseur was known as the "Pride of Baltimore" and participated in the War of 1812.

One of the most famous of the American privateers, Captain Thomas Boyle sailed his Baltimore clipper, Chasseur, out of Fells Point, where she had been launched from Thomas Kemp's shipyard in 1812. On his first voyage as master of Chasseur in 1814, Boyle sailed east to the British Isles, where he harassed the British merchant fleet and sent a notice to George III, by way of a captured merchant vessel, declaring that the entire British Isles were under naval blockade by Chasseur alone! Despite its implausibility, this caused the British Admiralty to call vessels home from the American war to guard merchant ships sailing in convoys. Chasseur captured or sank 17 vessels before returning home to Baltimore on 25 March 1815. Perhaps her most famous accomplishment was the capture of the schooner HMS St Lawrence. On her return to Baltimore, the Niles Weekly Register dubbed the Chasseur, her captain, and crew the "pride of Baltimore" for their achievement.

The Pride of Baltimore

Pride of Baltimore
Name: Pride of Baltimore
Owner: City of Baltimore
Builder: Melbourne Smith/International Historical Watercraft Society
Laid down: April 1976
Launched: February 27, 1977
Commissioned: May 1, 1977
Homeport: Baltimore, Maryland
Fate: Sunk, May 14, 1986
General characteristics
Type: Topsail schooner
Displacement: 129 long tons (131 t)
Length: 90 ft (27 m) on deck
79 ft (24 m) w/l
Beam: 23 ft (7.0 m)
Draft: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
Sail plan: 9,327 sq ft (866.5 m2) sail area
Crew: 12

Construction and service

In 1975, the City of Baltimore, as part of a plan to revitalize its Inner Harbor, adopted a proposal from Charles Center-Inner Harbor Management for the construction of a replica sailing vessel as a centerpiece of the redevelopment of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The city requesed proposals for "an authentic example of an historic Baltimore Clipper" to be designed and built using "construction materials, methods, tools, and procedures... typical of the period."

A design by Thomas Gillmer was chosen, and master shipwright Melbourne Smith oversaw the construction of the vessel next to the Maryland Science Center on the shoreline of the Inner Harbor. During construction, residents and visitors could watch the craftsmen working with tools and techniques of two centuries earlier. Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski performed the launching ceremonies on February 27, 1977, only 10 months after the start of construction. Mayor William Donald Schaefer commissioned the Pride of Baltimore on behalf of the citizens of Baltimore and Maryland two months later on May 1, 1977.

The Pride sailed over 150,000 nautical miles (280,000 km) during her nine years of service, visiting ports along the Eastern Seaboard from Newfoundland to the Florida Keys, the Great Lakes, the Caribbean and the West Coast from Mexico to British Columbia. She visited European ports across the Atlantic in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.


On May 14, 1986, returning from the Caribbean, what the United States Coast Guard later described as a microburst squall, possibly a white squall, 250 nautical miles (463 km) north of Puerto Rico struck the Pride. Winds of 80 knots (150 km/h; 92 mph) hit the vessel, capsizing and sinking her. Her captain and three crew were lost; the remaining eight crewmembers floated in a partially inflated life-raft for four days and seven hours with little food or water until the Norwegian tanker Toro came upon them and rescued them.

A memorial on Rash Field in Baltimore's Inner Harbor memorializes the Pride's lost captain and crewmembers (Armin Elsaesser 42, Captain; Vincent Lazarro, 27, Engineer; Barry Duckworth, 29, Carpenter; and Nina Schack, 23, Seaman).

Pride of Baltimore II

Pride of Baltimore
Pride of Baltimore II
Pride of Baltimore II at OpSail 2000

|module3= Career Name: Pride of Baltimore IIOwner: Pride of Baltimore, Inc.Builder: G. Peter BoudreauLaunched: April 30, 1988Commissioned: October 23, 1988Maiden voyage: October 23, 1988Homeport: Baltimore, MarylandIdentification: Maritime Mobile Service Identity number: 303302000 |module2= General characteristics Type: Topsail schoonerDisplacement: 185.5 long tons (188 t)Length: 96 ft 6 in (29.41 m) on deck
157 ft (48 m) sparred lengthBeam: 26 ft (7.9 m)Height: 107 ft (33 m)Draft: 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)Sail plan: 10,442 sq ft (970.1 m2) sail areaCrew: 12 }} The Pride of Baltimore II was launched in 1988 after the loss of the first Pride of Baltimore, and continues the role of Maryland's Flagship and Goodwill Ambassador, promoting business and tourism in Maryland. Like the original Pride, the Pride II is not a replica of any specific vessel, and though it represents a type of vessel known as a Baltimore Clipper, it was built to contemporary standards for seaworthiness and comfort. Designed by Thomas C. Gillmer Pride II, like its predecessor, is a topsail schooner, with two large gaff sails (one on a boom and one loose-footed), a main gaff topsail, several headsails, and a square topsail and flying topgallant on the foremast. She also flies studding sails (stun's'ls), rare on modern traditional sailing vessels. These additional sails are set along the edge of the square topsail and the mainsail, supported by additional spars known as stun's'l booms. On September 5, 2005, the Pride of Baltimore II suffered a complete dismasting while sailing in a squall in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France. The ship returned to port under motor power for repairs.[1] Until 2010, the Pride of Baltimore II was owned by the citizens of the state of Maryland and operated by Pride of Baltimore, Inc., a private, nonprofit organization. Ownership was transferred to the ship's nonprofit operator with unanimous approval by Maryland's Board of Public Works on June 9, 2010.

See also

  • List of schooners


  1. "Massive Rig Failure". Bosun's Mate. November 13, 2005. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  • American Sail Training Association; Sail Tall Ships! 16th ed. (American Sail Training Association; 16th edition, 2005 ISBN 0-9636483-9-X)
  • Greg Pease; Sailing With Pride (C. A. Baumgartner Publishing; 1990, ISBN 0-9626299-0-1)
  • Daniel S. Parrott; Tall Ships Down (International Marine Publishing; 2002, ISBN 0-07-139092-8)
  • Tom Waldron; Pride of the Sea: Courage, Disaster, and a Fight for Survival (Citadel Press; 2004 ISBN 0-8065-2492-8)
  • Jerome R. Garitee, The Republic's private navy - The American privateering business as practiced by Baltimore during the War of 1812, Mystic Seaport, 1977.
  • Maryland Board of Public Works agenda, June 9, 2010, p. 21, action item 13-GM. Approval to transfer ownership of the sailing vessel, Pride of Baltimore II, to the nonprofit Pride of Baltimore, Inc.

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Coordinates: 23°00′N 67°00′W / 23°N 67°W / 23; -67

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