News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 3, 2019
Schooner Bowdoin undergoing hull restoration

Maine Maritime Academy’s schooner Bowdoin, the Official Vessel of the State of Maine and a National Historic Landmark, is undergoing hull restoration at Bristol Marine, The Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor. The project requires refurbishment below the water line of 18 planks identified for replacement in a marine survey conducted by GF Full and Associates, according to a news release from the academy.

“Our goal is to maintain the boat to the highest standard, to go above and beyond, in order to preserve this living piece of history,” said MMA Marine Operations Manager Dana Willis. “At this early stage of restoration, we are pleased to see that the vessel is in good condition, which attests to the excellent workmanship and care Bowdoin has received over her lifetime.”

Work is expected to be completed in time for the summer sailing season. When the project is complete, the ship will again be home to groups of students in sail training courses within the Vessel Operations and Technology major at Maine Maritime Academy. Students sail coastwise and offshore in summer, learning to navigate and maintain the vessel to fulfill degree requirements and competencies toward a U.S. Coast Guard limited license.

Bowdoin joins the Ernestina-Morrissey, also known for its role in Arctic exploration and research, at The Shipyard this winter. The historic schooner, sometimes referred to as Bowdoin’s “Arctic sister” is undergoing a restoration of her hull and deck for the State of Massachusetts.

“We are excited to welcome the Bowdoin Back to Boothbay Harbor where she was launched by Hodgdon Brothers nearly 100 years ago,” said Ross Branch, Director of Director of Operations, Bristol Marine, the Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor.

To follow the Bowdoin hull restoration project, visit the project blog:

Maine Maritime Academy 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.

To follow the adventures of the schooner Bowdoin throughout the summer, visit or follow the cruise on Facebook at Arctic Schooner Bowdoin.