The original COLUMBIA was a 141’ classic Gloucester Fishing Schooner built at the historic A.D. Story shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts and launched April 17, 1923. Essex was the center for American Fishing Schooner construction. Designed by the innovative William Starling Burgess, the COLUMBIA was bred for speed. In the fall of 1923, the COLUMBIA challenged the BLUENOSE, Canada’s legendary schooner, in the International Fishermen’s Cup Races in Halifax, The BLUENOSE was skippered by Captain Angus Walters and he COLUMBIA was commanded by Captain Ben Pine. Nearly winning the title, the COLUMBIA was narrowly defeated by the BLUENOOSE and was one of the few American schooners to provide a challenge to BLUENOSE.
Tragedy struck the promising young COLUMBIA on August 24, 1927 near Sable Island, the notorious “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, where the COLUMBIA was lost with all hands in a gale.
Decades later, the owner of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., in Panama City, Florida, discovered the original lines plan of the COLUMBIA in the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Massachusetts. He took the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of bringing a significant piece of maritime history back to life. Drawn by her proud history and her beauty, the owner began the journey of bringing the COLUMBIA back to life, and returning her to the glory she deserves.
Working with John W. Gilbert and Associates of Boston, Massachusetts, the design was re-engineered with a steel hull instead of wood. An engine room and staterooms were added to the design. Covey Island Boatworks of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, built the rigging and spars. Blocks were fabricated by A. Dauphinee & Sons and all the sails were constructed by Michelle Stevens Sailloft, LTD, both from the Second Peninsula, Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. Teak decking was completed by Teakdecking Systems of Florida.
In early 2006 the owner researched the original COLUMBIA’s history and made the commitment. He and his management staff, employees and subcontractors brought to life the design, engineering, purchased the materials and constructed the exact replica of the COLUMBIA (ESG Hull 981).
The hull lines were redrawn from a copy of the original hand drawn lines plan using AutoCAD computer software by John W. Gilbert & Associates. The hull plate, its formed shapes and structure, were electronically lofted, nested and numerically cut (NC) using ShipConstructor computer software at Eastern’s Allanton Engineering and Steel Processing Facility.
The vessel’s services, steering and propulsion systems were designed and installed for maximum efficiency when under sail or diesel power. There is a transverse bow thruster for ease of docking and undocking. The twin electrical power generation plants, switchgear and wiring were designed and installed meeting current marine regulatory requirements. Also installed are modern interior and exterior lighting, underwater lighting system, air-conditioning and heating and machinery space electric ventilation with plenty of thermal and acoustic insulation.
The onboard electronics, communication and navigational equipment are state-of-the-art with two 36 nautical mile radars, wind sensor, navigational LED lighting, electronic charting, electronic compass and autopilot for open water high performance efficiency. The entertainment systems are interfaced with a VSAT broadband Satellite system with phone, entertainment and internet service.
Using today’s technology coupled with proven early 1900’s craftsmanship, Eastern’s Team of shipbuilders, sub-contractors and vendors collectively constructed and completed sailing trials of this new, modern, historic schooner on September 18, 2014 from Eastern’s Nelson Street Facility in Panama City, Florida.
Eastern’s COLUMBIA is truly a robust steel hull replica derived from the historic Gloucester Fishing Schooner, meeting today’s USA regulatory requirements, utilizing today’s technology, machinery, materials, electronics and safety equipment. It was designed with modern crew amenities and comfort in mind. It is a vessel designed with onboard features like no other for a worldwide port-to-port sailing adventure.
- Length Overall:43.03 metres
- Beam:7.8 metres
- Max Draught:6 metres
- Gross Tonnage:145
- Displacement Tonnage:47
- Builder:Eastern Shipbuilding
- Year of Build:2022
- Hull Number:2
- Hull Type:Monohull
Performance & Capacities
- Cruising Speed:10 kn
- Fuel Capacity:23666 litres
- Water Capacity:7760 litres
- Range:4000 nm
- @ 10 kn
- Engine Make:Caterpillar
- Total power:587hp
- Passenger Rooms:4