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Large Boat Sailing New

Traditional Sailing & Seamanship Aboard PETREL

Coastal sailing adventures in a traditional Crotch Island Pinky.

July 14 – July 20
Brooklin, Maine
$975 (Discounts do not apply)
Annie Nixon
Experience Level
Activity Level

If you are looking for a fun week of adventure sailing that will hone and expand your seamanship, judgment and skills onboard a traditional Maine, open rowing-sailing vessel, this is your course. This course is for those who have some previous sailing experience, whether it comes from a seamanship program or personal involvement with boats. Students will work together as a team to sail in the waters around the WoodenBoat School. Each morning we will begin by making a plan of the day based on wind, weather and tide. We will sail for the whole day, anchoring at a beautiful island for lunch, and returning to WBS for dinner and a restful night sleep on land at the end of the day. A sailor aspires to the mastery of many subjects, but the essence of this course is sea sense: the ability to tune in to a boat, the weather, and the crew, and apply good judgment so that all work together. Subjects include sail theory, hull and rig balance, helmsmanship, piloting in clear weather and fog, approaching and leaving floats and moorings, anchoring, knots and rigging, man-overboard strategy, and reefing. Students should be prepared to sail/row daily in all types of weather, and have enough physical agility to be able to maneuver themselves around in the boat, and easily transition from boat to shore. There is nothing like sailing in a vessel designed for the area you are sailing in!


“In the present-day search for small sailing craft, low cost and easily maintained, the once numerous types of small working-boats formerly employed in the longshore fisheries should be considered… Each (design) has been developed to work in its home waters and weather conditions and to meet the physical requirements of its employment.”

Chapelle’s American Small Sailing Craft, 1951.


The Crotch Island Pinky, a 26ft. lapstrake, double-ended ketch rig boat, was designed and used on Crotch Island for the purpose of fishing and freight, during the 19th century on the coast of Maine. These boats were designed with “easily driven hulls”  and sufficient sail area that made for safe travel around the rocky shores of Penobscot Bay and beyond.  PETREL is a traditionally-built, wooden lapstrake hull that was originally used in programs for the Chewonki Foundation, a non- profit school & camp based in Wiscasset, Maine.  It now sails with Rituals of the Sea, a local non-profit that provides access to experience in open wooden boats, and encourages handcraft traditions through preservation and practice of maritime folkways.

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