The East Coast Fleet - Other Rigs
Colonial Navy Inc. plans to build up to 16 full-sized copies of historic American and Canadian square-rigged ships of the period 1607 to 1780. Each will be licensed to carry 12 paying trainees in double cabins. The ships will be operated along the East Coast, the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, and the Great Lakes, depending upon the seasons and the weather. These ships will be identical below the waterline, and will differ in details, trim, color-schemes, and rigs. They will measure 65 feet long on deck and 20 feet beam. They will normally be sailed in small fleets of from four to six at a time, allowing for inter-vessel competitions afloat and ashore, as well as cooperation between the ships. The office to run the East Coast ships will probably be in Portsmouth, Virginia.
To learn more, click on any ship name. To see a larger drawing of any ship, click on it's image.
6-gun Revolutionary War Square Topsail Schooner SAINT JOHN
During the Revolution, she was based at Nassau, Bahamas; Saint Augustine and Cowford (later renamed Jacksonville), Florida. Commanded by Lieutenant William Grant, she successfully spirited away to Saint Augustine all the gunpowder that the Continental Navy on its first fleet operation was trying to capture at Nassau in March 1776. She appears to have been in the foreground of a period engraving of Nassau, and she was also depicted in a painting of Halifax, Nova Scotia by the famous Captain Hugh Palliser. Unlike many schooners of the day, she was fitted with a proper head. She carried one square topsail on each of her two masts, and probably gaff-topsails as well. Being rotten, she was apparently sold for scrap early in 1777. The British schooner Gaspee that was burned in Rhode Island in 1772 was possibly a sister-ship, and Captain Pierre Morpain’s successful 1744 Louisbourg privateer schooner, Le Succes, was most likely very similar, as was one of the first vessels of the Continental Navy fleet, the schooner Wasp (ex-Scorpion).
12-gun Revolutionary War Privateer Square Topsail Ketch THUNDER
12-gun Continental Navy Square Topsail Sloop PROVIDENCE
One thing worth emphasizing about Providence is that her general appearance was almost identical to thousands of American sloops that were built from Newfoundland to Surinam from about 1680 to 1800. These vessels, which could be anywhere from 35 to 70 feet on deck, were used for local and for transatlantic trade.