The Ships

Presented by

AUG 11-13

Duluth, Minnesota

Confirmed Ships for 2019

Stay tuned, this site will be updated as the ship count rises.

US Brig Niagara

US Brig Niagara

On September 10, 1813, nine small ships, including Niagara, defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie. A pivotal event in the War of 1812, it led to regaining Detroit, lost at the war’s outset, and lifted the nation’s morale.

The U.S. Brig Niagara is a two-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel, 198 feet sparred length, 118 feet tall. The current Niagara, the third reconstruction of the original vessel, was launched in Erie in 1988, the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. Niagara sails the Great Lakes, preserving and interpreting the story of the Battle of Lake Erie, and acting as an ambassador in her capacity as the flagship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a Sailing School Vessel, her crew of professionals and trainees actively preserve the skills of square-rig seamanship.

Schooner Appledore V

Schooner Appledore V

The Appledore schooners are owned and operated by BaySail, a private, non-profit organization. BaySail supports its environmental education and youth development programs through public sails, private charters, group tours and port visits.

Appledore V was commissioned by Smith in 1992 and later sold to the Traverse Tall Ship Company, who sailed her under the name of Westwind, in Traverse Bay. BaySail acquired her in October of 2002 and changed her name back to the original Appledore V. She spent many years operating in Bay City before moving to southern Florida in 2011. In May 2016, Appledore V will make her way home to Bay City.

Appledore V is a steel hulled Gaff rigged schooner of a type typical of those sailed on coastal waters and in the Great Lakes right up to the end of the age of sail. Schooners were the workhorses of their era providing the primary means of transportation for goods and passengers over long distances.

S/V Denis Sullivan

S/V Denis Sullivan

The S/V Denis Sullivan is a replica three-masted, wooden, gaff rigged schooner from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a flagship of both the state of Wisconsin and of the United Nations Environment Programme.

The construction of the Denis Sullivan was first proposed in 1991 by a group of Milwaukee residents and volunteers from other states. Their plan was to build a tall ship which would serve as a platform for educating people about the Great Lakes. Community involvement was welcome in the project, and almost a thousand people[2] donated almost a million volunteer hours[3] toward the Denis Sullivan's construction. Through the efforts of both professional shipwrights and volunteers, the Denis Sullivan was partially completed and launched in June 2000. She departed Milwaukee for her first sail to the Caribbean in November 2000.

The Denis Sullivan is not a replica of a specific vessel. Rather, her design is inspired by that of the Great Lakes cargoschooners of the 19th century. Like many of those schooners, she carries a raffee, a square-rigged fore topsail which is triangular in shape.
In designing the Denis Sullivan, architects Timothy Graul Marine Services looked to several nineteenth century Great Lakes schooners for inspiration, including the Rouse Simmons, Clipper City, and Alvin Clark. Above the waterline, the Sullivan closely resembles these earlier vessels. Her shape is that of an efficient cargo carrier, and her riggingand deck arrangement are likewise authentic. She differs from her predecessors, however, below the waterline. Traditionally, Great Lakes cargo schooners were built with a fairly flat bottom to minimize draft and permit sailing in shallow waters. They carried a centerboard to compensate for this when sailing to windward. The Denis Sullivanstrayed from this tradition to meet both modern Coast Guard safety requirements and the practical considerations of a passenger vessel. She has a relatively deep hull and weighted keel, which provide greater stability to the vessel and allow for 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) of head clearance in the below decks accommodations. An additional concession to safety regulations was the division of the traditional cargo hold into watertight bulkheads.

Abbey Road

Abbey Road

Lake Superior Tall Ships accepted the donation of the Abbey Road on April 7, 2014, and immediately began taking kids of all ages sailing on Lake Superior.

The trips are “Un-plugged” experiential learning voyages.  Teamwork is required which fosters acceptance of others, cultivates personal responsibility and helps develop leadership skills.

Longer trips can be physically and emotionally challenging for some participants (although not dangerous).  As controlled risks are overcome by participants they discover hidden strengths, acquire new skills and increase self-confidence.

They are very proud to have had over 3,600 participants onboard the Abbey Road since 2014.  She is an excellent platform for small groups and they will continue sailing her into the foreseeable future.

Schooner Utopia

Schooner Utopia

The 77′ staysail schooner, designed by the late Fred J. Peterson and built in 1946 by Peterson Builders, began its maiden sea voyage in 1947 when she cruised the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Caribbean Islands. In November 1956, Fred Peterson and crew embarked on a three-year cruise around the world, stopping at ports in the Azores, Tangiers, Gibraltar, Canary Islands, Trinidad, Havana, Tonga, Galagapos, the Solomons, New Guinea and dozens more. It is estimated Utopia has logged more than 60,000 miles, including several Chicago-Mackinac races. In recent decades, Utopia, owned and skippered by Ellsworth Peterson, has been a goodwill ambassador in Door County, WI and elsewhere hosting numerous non-profit events and receptions.

M/V Sundew
former US Coast Guard Cutter

M/V Sundew
former US Coast Guard Cutter

USCGC Sundew (WLB-404) is a 180-foot (55 m) sea going buoy tender (WLB). A Iris, or C-class tender, it was built by Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Corporation in Duluth, Minnesota. Sundew's preliminary design was completed by the United States Lighthouse Service and the final design was produced by Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Corporation in Duluth for the U.S. Coast Guard. On 29 November 1943 the keel was laid. It was launched on 8 February 1944 and commissioned on 24 August 1944. The original cost for the hull and machinery was $861,589.
Sundew is one of 39 original 180-foot (55 m) seagoing buoy tenders built between 1942-1944. All but one of the original tenders, USCGC Ironwood, were built in Duluth. Like all of these tenders, Sundew was named after a plant, in this case the sundew, a carnivorous plant from the genus Drosera.

In 1958, Sundew was assigned to Charlevoix, Michigan, and the following November helped in the rescue of two survivors from the Carl D. Bradley when it sank in a storm on Lake Michigan 47 miles (76 km) west-northwest of Charlevoix. Sundew remained at Charlevoix until 1981, when she was replaced by USCGC Mesquite. Sundew was then moved to Duluth, Minnesota, where it served until it was retired in 2004.
Sundew served 60 years for the Coast Guard and was decommissioned and retired on May 27, 2004.

Gerhard Folgero

Gerhard Folgero

Built by Matt Putra, a professional welder in Kenosha, Wisconsin to the plans drawn up by the leading steel boat designer at that time from Philadelphia J. Murray Watts. Vessel then sold to John Caldwell who brought the boat to a higher standard of completeness and naming her ANNA Z. John enjoyed the vessel for many years before selling her to Ralph Hollingsworth who changed the name to Black Swan. I Randy Ellestad purchased the vessel in the fall of 2009 and had the boat shipped from St. Joseph harbor Mich to Knife River Minn.

He spent the next 4 years doing some major refits, building all new masts and spars all new rigging. He drew up a new sail plan and had sails made in Sussex England out of duradon.

The vessel was renamed to give honor and remembrance to the Norwegian explorer Captain Gerhard Folgero, who in 1926-1927 became the first to retrace the route believed to have been sailed by Leif Erikson and using a 42ft Viking ship to show that it could be done. He and his crew of 3 men ultimately arrived in Duluth Minn June 23, 1927. Later in 1929 he sailed a 60ft Viking ship from Norway to St. Paul Minn. becoming the first foreign flagged sailing vessel to arrive there.

These ships are not guaranteed. Ship lineup is subject to change without notice.