2017 Sailing Season Begins Aboard Pride of Baltimore II

The 2017 sailing crew moved aboard on Saturday, February 25. The winter maintenance crew left on Sunday, February 26. The transition is different this time around—typically one period of time ends a few days before another period of time begins. This time, for the first time, they overlapped. The last day of winter maintenance was the first day for the sailing crew—an interesting new management experience.

A day made more interesting by the presence of Boy Scout Troop #35, sponsored by Baltimore’s The Church of the Redeemer, to lend manpower to a strategy for a “rapid” uncovering of the Quonset-like spar shed…”Sparlandia”…as well the ship’s winter cover. Typically, the sailing crew do the uncovering; it usually takes about a week. This time they, along with the others, are working to execute a “great uncovering” in the mere two days of this last weekend of February.

The plan seems to be working, but weather has impacted it. Yesterday (Saturday) a pretty intense cold front passed over. The threat of heavy squalls prevented getting a start on dismantling the ship’s winter cover. Meanwhile, Sparlandia did come down in a very orderly fashion ahead of the late afternoon squalls.

Today, the second day, dismantling the ship’s cover has started. First the plastic is to come off in a tidy and as “whole” as possible manner…rather than rip and tear and cut it off. Once off, the fasteners of the wooden frame will be removed or undone so it can be disassembled and taken ashore without damaging the ship. That will take time as it is a fiddly process. Might not get finished today. Not an essential issue. The crew will continue on their own after this weekend and when the Scout troop is gone.

There is no question in my mind, no matter the degree of success today, the overall plan is already proving a viable one. The Boy Scout troop have proved to be the asset imagined; the pace of this uncovering is quite a bit more rapid than it would have been without them. Many thanks to Troop 35!!! The only reason the timing might not work out exactly as imagined is due to weather. As is true in all manner of outdoor activities, a weather delay is part of the normal flow of things. Thus there was, and always is, a certain amount of capacity built into a Pride of Baltimore II plan for absorbing a weather delay.

My compliments to all!


Captain Jan C. Miles

Spring Sailabration, Celebrating 40 Years of Pride in Baltimore, April 27, 2017


Contact: Melanie Kelleher, Ainsley & Co., 410.317.8388

Celebrating 40 years of Pride in Baltimore

 BALTIMORE, MD – February 17, 2017 – Pride of Baltimore, Inc. is celebrating 40 years of Pride in Baltimore with their inaugural Spring Sailabration on Thursday, April 27, 2017, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI).

Pride friends and family, and local business leaders will come together on the waterfront to celebrate 40 years of Pride. Midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy will welcome guests with a sword arch. Inside, guests will enjoy live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks from local establishments, a silent auction, and great company. Pride II, illuminated in twinkling lights, will be docked outside of the BMI open for guests to board for a deck tour.

Pride of Baltimore, Inc. is pleased to have BGE on board as a major sponsor of Spring Sailabration 2017. Limited sponsorships are still available. Organizations or individuals interested in becoming a Sailabration sponsor may call the Pride office at 410.539.1151 for more information.

Business attire is suggested. Early bird tickets are $95 each until March 24, 2017, and can be purchased at www.pride2.org/sailabration/. Tickets will be $125 each after March 24.

40 Years of Pride in Baltimore

In 1975, the City of Baltimore adopted a proposal for the construction of a replica sailing vessel as the centerpiece of its Inner Harbor revitalization efforts. An iconic clipper ship was chosen because of the pivotal role Baltimore privateer vessels played in the War of 1812.

Pride of Baltimore, the first Baltimore Clipper to be built in 150 years, and the first tall ship to represent a city and a state, was commissioned on May 1, 1977, in a ceremony at the Inner Harbor attended by thousands. During her nine years at sea, between her maiden voyage to Bermuda, New York, and Nova Scotia in 1977, to her final European voyage in 1986, Pride of Baltimore extended the hand of friendship to countless visitors. Altogether, she logged more than 150,000 nautical miles, equal to six times around the globe. She sailed further in nine years than most sailing vessels travel in their lifetimes.

On her way home from a successful European campaign, Pride of Baltimore was struck by a microburst squall north of Puerto Rico. Within minutes, the schooner sank; the ship, her captain, and three crew members were lost at sea.

After the tragic sinking of Pride of Baltimore, an outpouring of unsolicited public support all but forced Pride of Baltimore, Inc. into going forward with a new ship. By late summer of 1986, plans for a replacement were under way. The ship was to be named Pride of Baltimore II and serve as a sailing memorial to the original Pride.

Pride of Baltimore II was hoisted aloft and launched from her Inner Harbor birthplace on April 30, 1988. After being fitted out and rigged, she was commissioned on October 23, 1988, at Brown’s Wharf in Fells Point, just blocks from the shipyard where Chasseur, the original “Pride of Baltimore,” had been built in 1812. Since her commissioning, Pride II has sailed over

250,000 nautical miles and visited more than 200 ports in 40 countries in North, South, and Central America; Europe; and Asia.

For four decades, these modern-day “prides” of Baltimore have promoted historical maritime education, fostered economic development and tourism, and represented the people of Maryland in ports throughout the world.

Pride of Baltimore II’s 2017 Season

Pride of Baltimore II will begin her 2017 season on March 25, Maryland Day and the 202nd anniversary of Chasseur’s triumphant homecoming in 1815 when she was dubbed the “pride of Baltimore.” Besides ticketed day sails and free deck tours for the public, private charters and dockside receptions are available, and education programs will be scheduled on the ship.

For more information, please go to www.pride2.org, call 410.539.1151, or email pride2@pride2.org.


Winter Maintenance Updates

Date: Tuesday, February 1, 2017
Position: Pride’s maintenance berth : 1910 South Clinton Street

With winter maintenance in full swing, Pride’s nine crew members are working hard to get the ship ready for the sailing season. The crew, some new, some seasoned veterans, started work after the New Year. Coming from as far as Superior, WI, and Kalamazoo, MI, and as close as Norfolk and Philadelphia, they are now nicely settled into life in Charm City. We are lucky to have a very enthusiastic group of volunteers, also made up of returners as well as first timers, working alongside our team.

This winter’s projects include a mix of annual preventative maintenance and attention to recent wear and tear. Each year, 100% of Pride’s hard working blocks, used for almost every task on deck, get inspected and refinished with fresh coats of varnish to protect and seal the wood from the elements. In addition to the inspection and varnish, large portions of the blocks are also being serviced, requiring disassembly. The shiv and pin are removed and the fasteners that hold the shell of the block together are inspected for corrosion. Once the metal parts are cleaned and painted, the block is reassembled and stropped.

With all of Pride’s spars, booms, and top-masts on the hard, housed in a Quonset Hut-like structure of plastic and wood that the crew refers to as “Sparlandia,” it is a race to get them sanded and varnished with multiple coats so they not only continue to look beautiful, but allow the ship to carry the weight of her enormous sails.

On deck, a number of very exciting projects are underway as well. Much of the ship’s standing rig is being worked on.  The crew have serviced and stitched new leather on the eye of the jib stay (this is where the stay that holds Pride’s jib-sail will attach to the foremast). Also, a massive spool of wire will be eye-spliced, served, and finished with leather to replace one of the two forestays, affectionately referred to among the crew as the “sister stays.” One by one, each “turn-back” (where the thick wire shrouds wrap around the massive lignum vitae dead eyes that allow us to tension the rig and hold the masts in place) are being inspected, cleaned, and served in tarred marline and then seized back into place. This time instead of using wire to seize the “turn-back” together, we are using braided Dyneema®, a fiber heavily used in the yachting world. Before the Industrial Age introduced the ability to machine high-strength steel into wire, vessels of the late 1700s and early 1800s only had fiber line to sail with and  to hold up masts and spars. As a modern fiber, Dyneema® has exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and does not stretch, making it possible to use instead of steel seizing wire. Sort of a back-to-the-future story for traditional sailing and rig work, not to mention it is just cool to work with!

Meanwhile, the ship’s carpenter is busy replacing an above-deck plank on Pride’s bulwarks, near the quarterdeck.  The new plank is made of Spanish Cedar, a naturally strong, rot-resistant wood.

Below deck, Pride’s living space is getting much needed attention as well. The floorboards (or “sole boards”), counters, and shelves are all being sanded and coated in polyurethane, and in some cases varnished. Even the kitchen sink is getting a makeover; it has been temporarily removed so that the surrounding countertops can be properly sanded and sealed.

Our full-time crew and volunteers are putting in long hours to get the ship ready for the sailing season, but there is always more work to do! If you are interested in volunteering, our crew work from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Please email Captain Miles at jan@pride2.org with questions, and when you intend to volunteer. Come join us!


2017 Winter Maintenance Crew