Monthly Archives: November 2014

Jacob Pike

maine windjammer, Jacob Pike, Mary Day

The herring carrier Jacob Pike as seen passing Mary Day, a Maine windjammer.

Good morning everyone from the global headquarters of the schooner Mary Day. It is a blustery rainy morning outside. The power is out, again, so I write this thanks to a small generator humming away in the woodshed. Times like these make me think of warm summer days on the bay. This image is of the Jacob Pike, now a lobster smack working the Maine coast under the ownership of J&J Lobster out of Rockland. These folks have been putting her to work buying lobster in distant harbors and bringing them into Rockland at the end of the day. I believe I have seen her sitting in the Fox Island Thorofare just off North Haven village buying lobster. You can see the derrick with its boom for getting 100 pound crates of lobster aboard. She has a pile of lobster crates on deck at the ready to receive the days catch just forward of the main hatch.

Built in 1949 by Newbert and Wallace in Thomaston she carried herring to the sardine factories in the day. Later on she carried herring for use as lobster bait. Just 80′ on deck she can carry up to 90 tons of cargo and still slip along along at 12 knots which suggests a streamlined hull form and a strong diesel power plant. Folks often wonder why the “pinked” stern. I have been told that a double ended hull allowed such a vessel to back right up to a fish weir’s gate for ease of loading herring. It also allows the stern to split a following sea which may be more to point since having the stern get lifted up and tossed about by the swells certainly wouldn’t help her handling. You can see that she hardly leaves a wake as she steams along.

Anyway, she is a handsome vessel, no matter how you slice it. If I ever grow up I could imagine spending my days cruising the coast in a boat like the Jacob Pike, although that is not what she was meant to do. She is a classy working vessel and ought to stay that way as long as she makes her owners a living. I just love seeing her out there.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Pulling the Rig

schooner rigging, windjammer cruises, Maine schooners, schooner masts

Pulling the foremast of the schooner Mary Day, a Maine windjammer offering scenic vacation cruises along the coast of Maine.

Good morning everyone. Pulling the rig? What the heck is that? Well, in a nutshell, it involves pulling both masts and the bowsprit and its associated rigging, deadeyes and lanyards. The process involves a crane, moving the schooner to where a crane can reach the masts and casting off the rope lanyards that hold the mast rigging to the schooner. There are 3 sets of lanyards for each side of each mast. We also have to disconnect the head stay and the spring stay, that cable which connects the two mast heads. Oh, and then there is the part about lifting the mast out of the schooner without taking out all of the interior decorating. The masts are not plucked out by their mastheads but instead by their bases…or somewhere close to the base. In our case we use the saddles which are securely fastened to mast. As you can see from the picture above the line (big, strong line) leads from the saddle to a hitch taken around the mast just above the mast’s balance point. Simple, right? Nerve wracking…yes.

The masts, as you can imagine, are quite heavy. The 68′ main mast weighs in at 4900 lbs and the 65′ foremast just 300 lbs. less, 4600 lbs. The bowsprit is surprisingly heavy weighing in just shy of a ton at 1700 lbs. As you will see in the accompanying video (By the bowsprit is such a tight fit that we had to do a lot of wiggling to get it out. So enjoy the video, 2 hours compacted into 1 minute, 11 seconds.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.