NEW YEARS RESOLUTION: Get Pride ready for her 25th year of sailing and public appearances

As always, winter at home for Pride is a chance to get ready for the next season. It is not a restful time for us captains. While we were overseeing the process of getting the ship protected for the winter and collaborating with the staff regarding end of the year mission requirements, there was also searching for the winter maintenance crew. Now it is January, and while the holidays were a time period not distracted by having to oversee the ship as there was no work being done, eight winter crew are now hard at work chipping away at the work list. This requires captain oversight time in between more mission planning and collaboration with the staff, and selecting the 2014 sailing crew, only to mention a few winter work requirements. Fortunately we have a very qualified foreman of the winter crew. Once we have described things to Patrick Flynn and answered his questions, we captains go to the office for meetings; those meetings generating further work lists and more meetings.

Now, a week into winter maintenance (we started last Wednesday because of the arctic cold snap last Monday and Tuesday with temperatures as low as -10°­F wind chill making outside work problematic) the rhythm of the winter crew is quite visible. Patrick has steadily been grasping the logistics of the neighborhood of suppliers along with the Maryland Port Authority (MPA) work-space leased for Pride‘s winter layup. It is also evident there is a growing rapport between him and the winter crew. The work list accomplishments are evident. This means we captains can limit our time at the winter work site and spend more time collaborating with the staff, assembling the 2014 mission schedule for the ship.

In addition we have the added benefit of Pride volunteers joining the winter crew. During winter maintenance the volunteers are a terrific productivity multiplier. This is our third season of winter maintenance volunteers and it is truly pleasurable to see our friends of Pride for the last two winters returning for a third. They bring a steadiness and focus to their work assignments – a great influence on the winter crew along with increasing overall productivity.

Crew headshots

Our current winter crew come from all around the country and is composed of veterans aboard Pride as well as those new to her. All have pretty extensive experience with traditional working class sail vessels similar to Pride‘s technical period and embody the desirable attributes of a culture in alignment with Pride‘s.

Is everyone making inroads to the readiness requirements of the coming sailing season?


Jan Miles
A Captain with Pride of Baltimore, Inc.



Winter Maintenance ~ Work is Well Under Way

PRIDE II is under her cocoon of white shrink wrap plastic spread over her wooden frame that bridges her deck fore & aft and rail to rail. Her spars (yards, topmasts, gaffs, boom) are ashore under their own cocoon of white shrink wrap plastic spread over quonset hut shaped wooden re-enforced plastic frame. There is a 6 foot x 8 foot “hobo” hut of white shrink wrap plastic over wooden frame with peaked roof for blocks to be maintained. We have temporary loan of the heated garage of the Maryland Port Administration Operations work site where PRIDE II is moored down South Clinton St. from the Canton area of Baltimore. There are four shipping containers on the premises that are the basis of PRIDE II’s maintenance and spare parts storage and work bench. The maintenance period is half over and it looks to us all like we are getting done what we hoped to get done.

That list of “do’s” included some very different chores. Oiling the ship’s deck and repairing under engine “containment”. Both projects required some dismantling and significant preparation time before the actual work needed doing could actually be done. Oiling the deck required removing hardware from the deck, things like deck prisms, then diligent sanding of the whole deck before the oil could be laid down. The engine containment repair/overhaul required lifting the engines up off their permanent “installed” position motor mounts just to be able to do the needed work to the under engine containment system.

As of mid January the deck received its first four priming coats. It is our goal that we get between two and four more separate covering coats before the 2012 sailing crew come aboard. In the midst of doing this the old dead and falling out deck seam pitch (seam tar) that was removed before the deck sanding will be replaced. Meanwhile the deck hardware will be re-installed. In the engine compartment the PORT side engine is now back on its motor mounts and connected. The STBD engine is expected to be lifted up this week.

Throughout this same period the other normal and annual maintenance is getting done. Spars have been sanded and patch coated three times with varnish where there was 2011 sailing season wear and tear…plus the first full coat sanded and ready for the second full coat. Block maintenance is near complete and ready for being re-stropped/seized into their proper slings of wire or rope, hence ready for actual installation by the sailing crew when they re-rig/rig-up the ship early this spring.

Still to be done are the down below cosmetics. The galley and the saloon area get a significant going over with varnish. Both the focsle and the aft cabin receive some cosmetic repair/maintenance as well.

A new chapter in the tradition of winter maintenance is the Pride Winter Maintenance Volunteer Program. Starting on a mid December Saturday some seventeen PRIDE II enthusiasts joined the winter maintenance crew to help prepare PRIDE II for her 2012 sailing season. Such a turnout of so many PRIDE II enthusiasts willing to work in unheated circumstances was far above anything we were prepared to predict. Since that December day we have had a steady turn out of volunteers that come both week day and Saturdays. The day to day numbers fluctuate with Saturdays bringing the highest attendance. What a boon to the progress of winter maintenance these volunteers have been! On top of this we had our first Eagle Boy Scout Public Support Team … (who are these Scouts?) … come do some PRIDE II maintenance this last Saturday. They did a great job and we look forward to their return next Saturday.

Looking forward to the next half of the winter maintenance period we all wonder what the weather will be like. Thus far winter in Baltimore has been mild. Especially compared to the two preceding winters! Unlike those winters, we have not yet had any snow and the cold snaps have not been very deep or very long lasting when the temperature did drop to below freezing. Thus far this winter, I am reminded of the typically mild winters here in Baltimore. But there can always be a surprise. Yes siree!

For those of you that have been part of our PRIDE II winter maintenance Volunteers, we thank you very much!!! For those that support us in other ways, we thank you very much as well!!! PRIDE is the only “real” American Privateer of the of 1812 War sailing today in the 21st Century. She is also the most well known world wide American sailing vessel. There are well known American “classic” sailing yachts. But PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II is the only representative of America that bridges all classes and types of sailing representations from our country. Your support of PRIDE II has brought this about. It is your support that will keep PRIDE II sailing and representing all that we Marylanders have long been proud of long into the 21st Century!

Jan C. Miles
A Captain with Pride of Baltimore, Inc.