Pride of Baltimore

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The Pride of Baltimore was an authentic reproduction of a 19th century Baltimore clipper topsail schooner commissioned by citizens of Baltimore, Maryland. It was lost at sea with four of its twelve crew on May 14, 1986. The Pride of Baltimore II, a replica vessel of more modern design commissioned to replace the Pride in 1988, now sails as a Goodwill Ambassador from Baltimore and the State of Maryland.

Chasseur: The original "Pride of Baltimore"

The Pride was originally built as an authentic reproduction of a 19th century Baltimore Clipper schooner, patterned after and named for the legendary Baltimore built topsail schooner Chasseur sailed by the privateer Thomas Boyle. The Chasseur was known as the "Pride of Baltimore" and participated in the War of 1812.

One of the most famous of the American privateers, Captain Thomas Boyle sailed his Baltimore clipper, Chasseur, out of Fells Point, where she had been launched from Thomas Kemp's shipyard in 1812. On his first voyage as master of Chasseur in 1814, Boyle sailed east to the British Isles, where he harassed the British merchant fleet and sent a notice to George III, by way of a captured merchant vessel, declaring that the entire British Isles were under naval blockade by Chasseur alone! Despite its implausibility, this caused the British Admiralty to call vessels home from the American war to guard merchant ships sailing in convoys. Chasseur captured or sank 17 vessels before returning home to Baltimore on 25 March 1815. Perhaps her most famous accomplishment was the capture of the schooner HMS St Lawrence. On her return to Baltimore, the Niles Weekly Register dubbed the Chasseur, her captain, and crew the "pride of Baltimore" for their achievement.

The Pride of Baltimore

Name: Pride of Baltimore
Builder: Melbourne Smith/International Historical Watercraft Society
Laid down: April 1976
Launched: 27 February 1977
Commissioned: 1 May 1977
Homeport: Baltimore, Maryland
Fate: Sunk, 14 May 1986
General characteristics
Type: Topsail schooner
Displacement: 129 long tons (131 t)
Length: 90 ft (27 m) on deck
79 ft (24 m) w/l
Beam: 23 ft (7.0 m)
Draft: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
Sail plan: 9,327 sq ft (866.5 m2) sail area
Crew: 12

Construction and service

In 1975, the City of Baltimore, as part of a plan to revitalize its Inner Harbor, proposed the construction of a replica sailing vessel as a centerpiece, posting a notice requesting proposals for "an authentic example of an historic Baltimore Clipper" to be designed and built using "construction materials, methods, tools, and procedures... typical of the period."

A design by Thomas Gillmer was chosen, and master shipwright Melbourne Smith oversaw the construction of the vessel next to the Maryland Science Center in downtown Baltimore where residents and curious visitors could watch the craftsmen working with tools and techniques of two centuries earlier. Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski performed the launching ceremonies on February 27, 1977, only 10 months after the start of construction, and the Pride of Baltimore was commissioned on behalf of the citizens of Baltimore and Maryland by the Mayor William Donald Schaefer two months later on May 1, 1977.

The Pride sailed over 150,000 nautical miles (280,000 km) during her nine years of service, visiting ports along the Eastern Seaboard from Newfoundland to the Florida Keys, the Great Lakes, the Caribbean and the West Coast from Mexico to British Columbia. She visited European ports across the Atlantic in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.


On May 14, 1986, returning from Britain on the trade route to the Caribbean, what the US Coast Guard later described as a microburst squall, possibly a white squall, 250 nautical miles (463 km) north of Puerto Rico struck the Pride. Winds of 80 knots (150 km/h; 92 mph) hit the vessel, capsizing and sinking her. Her captain and three crew were lost; the remaining eight crewmembers floated in a partially-inflated life-raft for four days and seven hours with little food or water until the Norwegian tanker Toro came upon them and rescued them.

A memorial on Rash Field in Baltimore's Inner Harbor memorializes the Pride's lost captain and crewmembers (Armin Elsaesser 42, Captain; Vincent Lazarro, 27, Engineer; Barry Duckworth, 29, Carpenter; and Nina Schack, 23, Seaman).

Pride of Baltimore II

Pride of Baltimore II
Pride of Baltimore II at OpSail 2000
Name: Pride of Baltimore II
Builder: G. Peter Boudreau
Launched: 1988
Commissioned: 1988
Homeport: Baltimore, Maryland
General characteristics
Type: Topsail schooner
Displacement: 185.5 long tons (188 t)
Length: 96 ft 6 in (29.41 m) on deck
157 ft (48 m) sparred length
Beam: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Height: 107 ft (33 m)
Draft: 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
Sail plan: 10,442 sq ft (970.1 m2) sail area

The Pride of Baltimore II was launched in 1988 after the loss of the first Pride of Baltimore, and continues the role of Maryland's Flagship and Goodwill Ambassador, promoting business and tourism in Maryland.

Like the original Pride, the Pride II is not a replica of any specific vessel, and though it represents a type of vessel known as a Baltimore Clipper, it was built to contemporary standards for seaworthiness and comfort. Designed by Thomas C. Gillmer Pride II, like its predecessor, is a topsail schooner, with two large gaff sails (one on a boom and one loose-footed), a main gaff topsail, several headsails, and a square topsail and flying topgallant on the foremast. She also flies studding sails (stun's'ls), rare on modern traditional sailing vessels. These additional sails are set along the edge of the square topsail and the mainsail, supported by additional spars known as stun's'l booms.

The Pride of Baltimore II is owned by the citizens of the state of Maryland and operated by Pride of Baltimore, Inc., a private, non-profit organization.

See also


  • American Sail Training Association; Sail Tall Ships! 16th ed. (American Sail Training Association; 16th edition, 2005 ISBN 0-9636483-9-X)
  • Greg Pease; Sailing With Pride (C. A. Baumgartner Publishing; 1990, ISBN 0-9626299-0-1)
  • Daniel S. Parrott; Tall Ships Down (International Marine Publishing; 2002, ISBN 0-07-139092-8)
  • Tom Waldron; Pride of the Sea: Courage, Disaster, and a Fight for Survival (Citadel Press; 2004 ISBN 0-8065-2492-8)
  • Jerome R. Garitee, The Republic's private navy - The American privateering business as practiced by Baltimore during the War of 1812, Mystic Seaport, 1977.

External links

Coordinates: 23°00′N 67°00′W / 23°N 67°W / 23; -67

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