Maine Maritime Academy’s schooner Bowdoin, a National Historic Landmark and the official vessel of the state of Maine, will visit Boothbay Harbor on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 26-27. Schooner Bowdoin will moor at Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort (35 Atlantic Ave.) and will be open to the public from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 and from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. Boat tours are open to the public and free of charge.
MMA recently completed a hull refurbishment project to ensure that Bowdoin would be able to continue serving her mission as a training vessel. In October of 2018 the vessel was moved to The Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor where she spent the winter and spring in a climate-controlled workspace undergoing plank removal and replacement, frame refurbishment, and related work to return the vessel to optimum operating condition.
The schooner Bowdoin is the flagship of Maine Maritime Academy’s Vessel Operations and Technology Program. MMA is the only college in the United States with a dedicated sail training program that leads to a U.S. Coast Guard license as mate on an auxiliary sail vessel. Students may start with no prior sailing experience and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, a U.S. Coast Guard license, and all necessary certificates.
Bowdoin enjoys a long history of seafaring education and Arctic exploration. Commissioned by explorer Donald B. MacMillan to facilitate his work in the high northern latitudes, Bowdoin has made 28 trips to the Arctic, 25 of them before 1954 under the command of MacMillan. MacMillan sold Bowdoin to the U.S. Navy for use in World War II during the Greenland Patrol. After World War II, MacMillan bought the ship back and continued to sail her for nine more years around Greenland. After MacMillan’s retirement the boat belonged to the Schooner Bowdoin Association until 1988 when Maine Maritime Academy purchased the vessel for the purpose of training students. It was at this time that Bowdoin became the official vessel of the state of Maine and was designated a National Historic Landmark.
The public can follow the adventures of the schooner Bowdoin on facebook at Arctic Schooner Bowdoin.