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Thread: The Biloxi Schooner

  1. #1
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    Default The Biloxi Schooner



    As interest in the seafood industry grew in the late 19th century, fishermen required boats larger than the catboat to haul in the bountiful catches. Schooners, a fast-sailing craft with at least two masts and sails set fore and aft, replaced catboats. The coast schooners were inspired by those used in Baltimore for fishing enterprises carrying goods along sea trade routes, and the tradition of building them was deep in coastal naval enterprises. It was not until 1893 when a hurricane destroyed most of the schooner fleet on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that local boat builders designed a specific style of schooner that was best suited to the waters along the Mississippi coast, waterways that include bayous, oyster reefs, and shallow bays and lakes. The schooner was christened the Biloxi Schooner, a boat characterized by a broad beam, shallow draft, and increased sail power. The schooner was fifty to sixty feet long, although some were larger. Because of its shallow draft, the Biloxi Schooner could easily sail in and out of waters with little depth, and its size allowed larger crews to work on the decks. The sail power of the Biloxi Schooner enabled the ship to drag the oyster dredges and shrimp seines when they became laden with the bivalves and crustaceans. These working crafts were both durable and graceful when “under sail.” In fact, Biloxi Schooners were often referred to as “white-winged queens” as they glided gracefully over the waters in and around the Mississippi Sound with their foresail and mainsail swung out on either side. Apprentice carpenters learning the boatbuilding trade in 1893 could expect to earn 75 cents a day for fifteen hours of work as they worked to replace the lost schooner fleet.

    Shipbuilders used local cypress wood for the frames of the schooner. Most of these frame boards were four to five inches thick and set approximately eighteen to fourteen inches apart, depending on the builder. Batten boards were then nailed or bolted to fill in the ribs and to make sure the hull was the correct shape. Caulk was then pounded between the batten boards of the ships to make it airtight. Builders often used Mississippi longleaf yellow pine for the keel, the main structural element of a ship that stretched along the center line of the ship’s bottom from bow to stern, and for its masts and spars, the thick, strong pole used to support the rigging for the “white-winged queens.” Shipbuilders harvested yellow pine from Ship Island, a barrier island approximately twelve miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes live oak, another native tree, was used because of its strength. For example, the Gulfport Shipbuilding Company, also on Bayou Bernard, reported on March 4, 1920, that it purchased one piece of live oak, 18 feet by 18 inches, for $36.00. In the early 1900s, the average cost of a schooner was $2,200.

    http://www.mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/...ppi-gulf-coast

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    The thrill, however, of seeing a Biloxi Schooner move smoothly over the waters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast can still be enjoyed — the Biloxi Seafood and Maritime Museum commissioned local shipbuilders to replicate two sixty-five-foot Biloxi Schooners named the Mike Sekul and the Glenn L Swetman.

    https://maritimemuseum.org/new/biloxi-schooners/


  3. #3
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    Hell
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    circa 1920's schooner races in biloxi



    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    Biloxi but good

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    Good stuff - thanks. Always good to learn something about local craft.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  6. #6
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    Richmond, Virginia
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    Thanks Jimmy
    Skip

    ---This post is delivered with righteous passion and with a solemn southern directness --
    ...........fighting against the deliberate polarization of politics...

  7. #7
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    magnolia springs, alabama u.s.a.
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    Years ago there was one sitting in Nelson's yard on the Bon Secour River, named 'Maple Leaf', that I was really interested in buying. I can't remember what they were asking but it was doable, and as a 'school ship' it would been a great platform for cruising Mobile Bay, talking to kids about the flora and fauna of our area, and the long history of Mobile and the surrounding towns and villages. In the end we bought the sharpie schooner, which was really too small for such a thing, and the insurance made it prohibitive.

    I love the boats. We do have one on Mobile Bay, the 'Joshua'. Wish we had more.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    Apropos of nothing, I always loved this song.
    Вещи меняются 6 ноября.

  9. #9
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    central cal
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    Anytime I think of Biloxi, I think, “It’s hot.”

    Thanks a lot Neil.

    Peace,
    Robert

    P.S. I loves the schooners!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    Not tonight it's not. It is snowing just north of there in Waynesboro.

    I don't know what the heck is going on, but it is supposed to be cold in the north and hot in the south, and something got mixed up somehow.

    We need more of those schooners, regardless.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  11. #11
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    northern Georgia, or Mississippi Delta USA
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    I once saw snow on the beach in Biloxi.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Huntsville, AL
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    Default Re: The Biloxi Schooner

    I sometimes go down there in May to the Billy Creel Wooden Boat show and sail on the Glen Swetman for a 2 hour cruise.

    https://www.gulfcoast.org/event/bill...oat-show/7100/


    It's a fun place to be.

    Will
    Will

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