’Round Town

Victory Chimes

Wed, 03/01/2023 - 7:15am

Recently I came across information about the Victory Chimes – she’s for sale.

My first encounter with this major vessel was during one of Boothbay Harbor’s Windjammer Days in the early 1980s. A photo I made in the Harbor showing Mark Friant and Merritt Grover zipping by the great ship became one of our first postcards. Mark and Merritt, I’m pretty sure, were still then in high school. They moved quickly about the waterfront back in those days leaving much flotsam and jetsam in their wakes! A dynamic duo to say the least!

Over the years I have made many photographs of the Victory Chimes, mostly when Janet and Captain Boyd Guild were owners. In today’s accompanying photograph you can see the Chimes on the big railway at the then Sample’s Yard in Boothbay Harbor. She needed some fairly major repairs, and where better to go for help. I don’t recognize most of the workers shown in this photo, except for Mr. Rice. I’m sure many people in the community will know others. This photo is from about 40 years ago. The yard’s crew has changed a lot since then, but the craftsmanship is still stellar and well equipped. The same railway shown above is where the Ernestina-Morrissey was rebuilt over the last seven years.

The Victory Chimes, originally called the Edwin and Maud, was built in 1900 at the George K. Phillips Company yard in Bethel, Delaware. It was originally one of some 4,000 cargo ships built to transport practically everything from grain to coal, primarily along the East Coast of the U.S.

In 1954 the Guilds purchased the ship, converting it for passenger cruises along the Coast of Maine. They gave it the name Victory Chimes and sailed it until 1985. In 1988 the ship was purchased by Domino Pizza and renamed Domino Effect for use on the Great Lakes and corporate events. In 1989 Domino Effect went up for sale with a potential move to Japan as a sushi bar. That’s when Captain Kip Files became owner and for 29 seasons sailed the Maine coast with many visits to Boothbay Harbor, mostly during Windjammer Days celebrations.

In 2018 the Victory Chimes was bought by Sam Sikkema, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the charter business hard, along with maintenance, insurance, and dockage fees, things got pretty difficult to keep it all afloat. The ship is now for sale with hopes that it will remain in Maine, but may not. It would be a big loss for the Maine fleet and the state, but the economics of operation have become very challenging. Time will tell if we will get to see another Chimes visit here after so many years.