With a traditional folk art look, this portrait of the Maine-built schooner MADAWASKA MAID shows the strong hull lines and balanced sail plan that made Downeast schooners the backbone of American coastal trade in the 19th century. The long clipper bow and extended bowsprit give extra length forward to accommodate the formidable fore-triangle of jumbo, jib and jib-topsail.
MADAWASKA MAID was built on the west bank of the Kennebec River at the town of Phippsburg just south of the city of Bath, Maine. Launched in 1832 at the yard of William Reed she was a 130-ton coaster, 78 feet long with a 23 foot beam and drawing just over 8 feet of water. She is a typical model of the hundreds of Maine coastal schooners that linked east coast ports throughout the 19th century.
In this view the schooner prominently wears her name pennant at the main truck and a small red pennant on her foremast. The American merchant ensign flies from her gaff-peak. The schooner is shown offshore with a large flotilla of other coastal shipping seen on the horizon.
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