Tag Archives: Sail Power and Steam Museum

Blackjack – Oldest Friendship Sloop re-launched in Rockland

Over the past three years, the folks at the Sail, Power, and Steam Museum have been restoring a 118 year old vessel, Blackjack. Museum Founder, Captain Jim Sharp helped bring Blackjack back to life. The vessel was originally built by Wilbur Morse in Friendship, Maine. Sharp says sloops are symbolic of Maine’s fishery. “Everybody owned a Friendship Sloop. Wilbur Morse built more than 500 of them right here in Muscongus Bay, so they were used for everything at that time; all the fishing, it carried a man’s supplies out to the islands, and it would come to shore to attend church on Sunday’s,” explained Sharp. Video >click to read<14:55

Maine still has at least one sail-powered lobster boat

Before the 1920s, when combustion engines were first mass produced, lobster boats and other vessels were powered by wind and sails, and the Friendship sloop was the most ingeniously designed boat around. “This boat is representative of what is essentially the start of the lobstering industry,” boat builder and shipwright Tim Clark said Thursday as he stood on the recently rebuilt deck of Blackjack, a Friendship sloop he and others at the Sail, Power and Steam Museum in Rockland have been restoring for the past three years. When “combustion engines came along — by the teens and 1920s — they were basically obsolete,” and the ones left were either left to rot in people’s yards or were converted into yachts, according to Clark, lead builder for the project. “Most of us think of the schooner as the symbol of Maine maritime history, but this (type of boat) has the most interesting and dynamic history,” he said. continue reading the story, click here 11:20

Blackjack “Her keel is bent, her decks are rotting and her rigging is in tatters. But we will restore her for the state of Maine,”

A crowd of boating enthusiasts welcomed the arrival Dec. 2 of the newest addition to the Sail, Power and Steam Museum — a circa-1900 Friendship sloop. Noel March, the newly elected commodore of the Friendship Sloop Society, said the Blackjack may be one of the two oldest Friendship sloops in the world. Read the rest here 12:46