The Schooners

The Club will have three large elegant schooner yachts reminiscent of the grand yachts and America’s Cup racers of the late-1800’s custom designed and built to allow Club members to sail and race in a grand style not previously available to 99.99% of us!

The Chesapeake Schooner Club is working with top designers of Spirit of Tradition yachts, both in the US and Europe.  Our intent is to build and operate three matched schooners in the 88 foot range that follow the Spirit of Tradition approach, melding modern materials and capabilities with timeless craftsmanship and design. Our goal is to create boats that both stir the soul and are fast, safe, and comfortable sailing vessels; all while keeping Club costs within the reach of the average sailor.

Napkin Sketch003
An early sketch of the proposed design

The Spirit of Tradition Class is a great one for yachts!  You get to enjoy all of the beautiful lines of the classics, the gleaming varnished wood and all the little touches that convey elegance, but also get to incorporate all the wonderful advances in materials science and technology that the last 150 years have brought us.  As such, we intend to incorporate a number of non-traditional aspects into the design of these schooners.  First, the standing rigging will be dyneema served over with black marline to look more traditional.  Sail material will be one of the traditional looking dacron materials, but the sails will be finished as traditional sails were with hand sewn leathering, etc. All the headsails and the topsails will incorporate modern structural roller furling to make them more manageable.  Sheets and halyards will use modern lines and electric winches to ease the load on the crew.  The schooners will likely incorporate hybrid electric propulsion, with three diesel gensets driving a pair of 150kW motors.  There will even be a modest battery bank to smooth loads and allow a limited amount of “silent running”.  The hull will be strip planked in cypress with epoxy/fiberglass sheathing, using kevlar and carbon fiber for localized strengthening.  The hull sports twin, tandem, high-aspect swing keels that are raised and lowered hydraulically that allow the underwater hull to be balanced against the sails to improve trim.  Similarly, the hull incorporates dynamic water ballast to keep normal heeling to under 20 degrees.  The electric motors drive twin props that can retract into the hull to reduce drag.  Steering is via twin spade rudders like many of the maxi racers, but steering input is via a traditional wooden schooner wheel in the cockpit or a wheel in the pilothouse for when the weather is uncooperative.

Proposed design showing all light air & racing sails

While a yard to have the vessels built has not been selected yet, the Club is looking at yards in New England as well as the Caribbean and Europe.


In addition to the big schooners, the Club will purchase three fully restored Cherubini 48 staysail schooners.  These vessels are modeled on Nathaniel Herreshoff’s famous Ticondaroga and have sweet classic lines that lend themselves to sailing well and fast.  Cherubini schooners frequently finish “in the money” in the annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race!

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Sometimes you just want to go out on the water with a minimum of fuss, and the Nonsuch 33’s provide.  Graced with the simplest of yacht rigs, the catboat rig, along with generous beam, the Nonsuchs are spacious and comfortable boats with a surprising turn of speed.

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Finally the Club has plans to maintain a small fleet of Goat Island Skiffs, for when you just feel like messing about on the water!

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(Note: Images represent boat images from the internet that are representative of the boats the Club will acquire.  The Club does not own the boats pictured. Images may be subject to copyright.)