Going Coastal

Schooner America Makes an October Stop in Galveston

Photo courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation

 

Why would you want to see this World War II replica of one of the most honored vessels in the United States by the same named? 

  • The original AMERICA put yaching on the map
  • Most famous racing yacht
  • America's Cup was named after the boat, not the country
  • Conveyor of secret agens
  • Confederate blockade runner
  • Nava Academy training vessel
  • Union warship
  • Pride and joy of a famous Civil War general and politician, Benjamin F. Butler

 

After the Civil War, Schooner America was bought by Benjamin F. Butler. Upon his death in 1893, his son Paul inherited the schooner. Since he did not have any interest in her, he gave the schooner to his nephew Butler Ames in 1897. Schooner America fell into disrepair, and was sold to the America Restoration Fund, who donated her to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Once again, she fell into decay. During a heavy snowstorm on March 29, 1942 fhs shed she was being stored in collapsed. Schooner America was scraped and burned.

 

The first replica of America was built by Goudy & Stevens Shipyard in Boothbay, Maine and launched in 1967. She was built and bought by Rudolph Schaefer, Jr., owner of F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Co. There were two subsequent replicas built. One in 1995 for Ray Giovanni, and is now owned by Troy Sears's company Next Level Sailing, and sails around the world as an official licensed partner for the America's Cup Tour. The third replica was built in 2005 in Bulgaria. The schooner was christened "Skythia," with its home port of Rostock, Germany, and is being used for commerical charter.

 

The $6 million-plus replica built in 1995 is coming to Galveston's Texas Seaport Museum, and has been selected as the ambassador for the America's Cup Tour, visiting sites along the west coast, U.S. gulf, east coast, Mexico and the Caribbean. It will be here from Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30.

 

Schedule for Schooner America viewing:

  • Mornings and Special afternoon sail-aways. Viewing tickets are $18 per person and allows access to both AMERICA and the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA and are available at the Texas Seaport Museum. Sail-away tickets are $85 per person for adults and $42.50 for children 17 and under with reservations available at www.galvestonhistory.org.

 

  • October 28, 7:00 p.m. - America's Captain Troy Sears will also give a lecture on the ship and her remarkable history. Admission is free with advance RSVP.

 

  • October 29, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. -Galveston Historical Foundation is hosting a special happy hour, complete with sunset cannon fire, for the ship featuring seasonal craft beers from Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Tickets are $30 per person and include complimentary beer. Advance tickets for all tours and events can be found at www.galvestonhistory.org.

 

"Our crew is thrilled to have the opportunity to visit so may great ports and sailing clubs along the Eastern seaboard," America's Captain, Troy Sears states. "We're especially looking forward to reaching out to junior sailing programs, helping to inspire the next generation of yacht racing ethusiasts and fans."

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