Wyoming (schooner)

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Schooner Wyoming in 1917
Name: Wyoming
Namesake: Wyoming
Launched: 15 December 1909[1]
Fate: Foundered on 24 March 1924
General characteristics
Tonnage: 3,730.54 gross register tons (GRT), 3036.21 NRT
Displacement: 10,000 short tons (9,100 metric tons) approx.
Length: 450 ft (140 m) overall
350 ft (110 m) on deck
329.5 ft (100.4 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 50.1 ft (15.3 m)
Draught: 30.4 ft (9.3 m)
Depth of hold: 33 ft (10 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Sail plan: six-masted schooner
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h/18 mph)
Complement: 13-14

The Wyoming was a wooden six-masted schooner, the largest wooden schooner ever built. She was built and completed in 1909 by the firm of Percy & Small in Bath, Maine.[1] The Wyoming was also one of the largest wooden ships ever built, the longest wooden ship ever built, 450 ft (140 m) from jibboom tip to spanker boom tip, and the last six-mast schooner built on the east coast of the US.

Because of the extreme length of the Wyoming and its wood construction, it tended to flex in heavy seas, which would cause the long planks to twist and buckle, thereby allowing sea water to intrude into the hold (see hogging and sagging). The Wyoming had to use pumps to keep its hold relatively free of water. In March 1924, it foundered in heavy seas and sank with the loss of all hands.


It was 329.5 feet (100.4 m) long and 50 ft 1 in (15.27 m) wide, with a draft of 30 ft 5 in (9.27 m) . The Wyoming had a volume of 373,054 cubic feet  ; that is, a gross register tonnage (GRT) of 3730.54. After subtracting the volume consumed by the helm and crew quarters and other areas not suitable for cargo, it had a cargo capacity of 303,621 cubic feet (8,597.6 m3), or a net register tonnage of 3036.21. Its deadweight was 6004 long tons, that is, the weight of the ship fully loaded, including the crew, cargo (6,000 tons), fuel, water and stores, less the weight of the ship when totally empty (4,000 tons), was 6,004 long tons. She could carry 6,000 long tons of coal. The Wyoming was built of yellow pine with 6" planking and there were 90 diagonal iron cross-bracings on each side.

The Wyoming was equipped with a Hyde anchor windlass and a donkey steam engine to raise and lower sails, haul lines and perform other tasks. The steam engine was not used to power the ship, but permitted it to be sailed with a smaller crew of only 11 hands. The ship was named for the state of Wyoming because Wyoming Governor Bryant Butler Brooks was one of the ship's investors, which cost $175,000 in 1909 dollars. Another Percy & Small built (five-masted) schooner was the Governor Brooks named after Bryant Butler Brooks himself (1907–1921).


  • 1909 15 December. Launched at the Shipyard of "Percy & Small" with her masts stepped. First master: Captain Angus McLeod of Somerville, Massachusetts.[1]
  • 1909 21 December. Maiden voyage to Newport News[2]
  • 1916 In Charter of "International Paper Co."
  • 1917 April. Sold to "France & Canada Steamship Co." for about $350,000 (probably about $420,000). By 1 October 1919, she had earned more than twice that amount, and her owners chartered her to load coal at Norfolk for Genoa at $23.50 per ton.
  • 1921 Sold to Captain "A. W. Frost & Co.", Portland, Maine.
  • 1924 Left Norfolk, Virginia, under command of Captain Charles Glaesel, for St John, New Brunswick, with a cargo of coal.
  • 1924 24 March. In order to ride out a nor'easter, she anchored off Chatham MA, in the Nantucket Sound, together with the five-masted schooner Cora F. Cressey which had left Norfolk at the same time as the Wyoming. Captain H. Publicover in the Cora F. Cressey weighed anchor at dusk and stood out to sea. The Wyoming is believed to have foundered east of the Pollock Rip Lightship and the entire crew of 14 was lost.[3][4]


External links

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