CAPTAIN'S LOG: Winter Maintenance 2015

Winter time is a busy time for us at PRIDE. Over the course of the 2014 sailing season, PRIDE accumulated wear and tear performing her mission, so we make use of the winter to examine and repair the ship.

PRIDE under wraps, courtesy Jan Miles
PRIDE under wraps, courtesy Jan Miles

Effective winter maintenance procedures include storing all of the ship’s upper and outer spars and rigging under cover. Also, to minimize ongoing wear and tear during the winter the ship herself is covered for protection from rain and sun. Doing this has the added benefit of enabling the ship to be opened up for extra ventilation.

Our Constant Battle With Moisture

Traditionally built wooden vessels are assembled of big sections of trees. These so precisely shaped and tightly assembled sections continue to be impacted by moisture. Even when protected by paint, varnish or oil they will change their dimension as moisture changes. This movement can break down the protecting patina, so we look for and attend to that.

Also, moisture can form upon surfaces due to differing temperatures within the ship. A dry deck and upper hull planking can belie the fact that there could be condensation in spaces below the waterline (air is warm but sea is cool causes condensation at the zone of sharp change of temperature between the two air zones).

Guest Crew and Volunteer Mark Thieling, courtesy Jan Miles
Guest Crew and Volunteer Mark Thieling, courtesy Jan Miles

Ventilating the condensation away easily can only really be done when we are able to open the ship up below and vent to the deck. So during the winter with no risk of rain getting below due to the ship being covered the below area is opened up by opening both the upper deck hatches as well picking up cabin sole boards and opening all locker spaces that were emptied out. Fans are placed to increase the chance of circulating bilge area air.

Meanwhile, the winter crew and several dedicated volunteers, including a number of Boy Scout Troops, collaborate on attending to the spars and rigging. With extra time cosmetics on the ship will be touched up. But the priority are the spars and the rigging. After all, to cause PRIDE…weighing nearly a half of a million pounds…to sail at greats speeds in winds that have also created considerable sea requires strong and dependable spars and rigging in addition to a strung, tight, well cared for hull. We hope to ensure this strength and good condition by making use of any time the ship is not actually sailing.

The Extra Mile

If it strikes some of you that this is all pretty normal and expected, this is most appreciated. But let me provide a distinction about the amount of effort that goes into one aspect of regular maintenance for PRIDE. Consider the blocks used in the rigging. They are what is described as “rope stropped”. This term refers to a bit of cable (today this can be steel wire or synthetic braided or twisted rope) that circles the shell of the block and also the attachment hardware that may be at one or both ends of the block. This loop circling the block and hardware is called the strop. The strop must be seized to both the bock shell and the hardware at one or both ends of the block.

Doing this seizing is a precise affair and the process includes making the seizing as tight as humanly possible to account for stretch under future load that will occur when sailing the ship. I have not mentioned the preparations of the strop. That is also a very precise process. Any lack of preciseness will likely result in the block becoming able to pop out of the strop.

I won’t try to paint the picture of what kind of mayhem that event might create. After a season of sailing, the winter crew re-varnish the block shell, which requires taking apart the whole rope-stropped assembly… then putting all back together again properly for future sailing. Plenty of work merely to protect the wood block…eh?

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

—Captain Jan Miles

Winter Volunteers Needed!

2015 has arrived, and Pride II’s winter maintenance is engaged and proceeding!  Any and all are invited to join in the fun.  Here is the situation:

Pride’s hired winter maintenance crew are working Tuesdays through Saturdays. Volunteers are invited to join the crew in their endeavors.

Maybe this is already obvious…but to remind all…some of the work is outside. Proper dress in preparation of the weather is important.

What kind of work is going on this week?

  • Block maintenance.
  • Ship winter cover frame preparation.
  • The down-rig or remaining rigging.

Remember, many hands make light work. Please feel sincerely invited to join the crew, and help spread the word.

Please indicate your intentions to join in the fun by email to Captains Miles and Trost ( &

Captain Jan Miles

P.S. If you have any friends that are interested in getting involved, please refer them to:  to sign up to be included in our volunteer mailing list.

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.



Football's not until Sunday, Come play with Pride on Saturday!




Hello Pride Volunteers,

Winter Maintenance is in full swing now, and even the weather has been a bit more cooperative. We’ve got lots of projects going at the ship and look forward to your help with just about all of them. (We’ll save the really dirty jobs for the crew.)

Come down to your favorite schooner on Saturday and help us get ready of our Spectacular 2014 season!

Where: Same place, 1910 South Clinton Street*
When: Saturday, January 18th, 2014
from 0830-1630 (4:30pm)

What: Taking PRIDE in our work
Why: Cause we and Pride have missed your smiling faces!
How: Send us a notice via e-mail that you’ll be coming, and then show up.

*Please note that our old office building across the street at 1801 South Clinton Street has been torn down — don’t worry, we moved to 2700 Lighthouse Point East just in time. Parking in the lot at 1801 is no longer possible. It is possible to part street side on Clinton Street in front of the winter berth.


See you this week,

Jamie Trost and Jan Miles,
Captains for Pride of Baltimore, Inc.

The “Pride Spring” has arrived!

2 March 2012
Alongside her Winter Berth at Clinton Street
Inhabited by Crew for first time since November 2011

A year ago, news services around the globe were a-twitter with the new catch phrase “Arab Spring.” And while it came without public unrest, without violence and involved just over one-hundred people, Pride of Baltimore II’s recent transformation from a sleeping hulk to a living, inhabited ship again is almost as dramatic a change. Ignore for the moment that this transformation from hibernation to new life is an annual event that, for twenty-four seasons now, has been as predictable and natural as the change from winter to spring it portends – this year is different. Pride II, accustomed to attention, no stranger to notoriety, is ready for the focus the War of 1812 Bicentennial will bring. Her time has come.

Pride II – through the impeccable craftsmanship of her construction and a relentless maintenance regimen – remains physically as strong as the day she was launched. The operational and cosmetic details attended to this winter were largely the same as any other winter. But the spirit of Pride II is rejuvenated. As was the case when public sentiment and support insisted on the very existence of a second Pride in 1988, the spirit of Pride II and what she means is once more larger than the ship herself.

When last I wrote in December . . . I know, three months ago, but hey, we’ve been busy and if you’ll give a minute, I’ll tell you how . . . (ahem) when I last wrote in December, Pride II was on the verge of her first ever volunteer program. Uncharted waters for us, and full of all the same anxious unknowns as an open water voyage – how do we inspire people to the same love for Pride II we have, how do we keep them engaged, will anyone even show up? Now, at the far end of our first “volunteer winter” we can proudly say over 70 people, including enthusiastic group attendances from both the Baltimore Annapolis Sailing Club and Local Boy Scout Troop 35, came to give a little “elbow grease” and attention to Pride II.

And now, with a corps of seasoned officers and a focs’l full of first time deckhands, Pride II is rolling into uprig with all the momentum of our new volunteers’ contributions. For over two and half decades, no vessel has more fervently told the story of Baltimore’s Privateers, the story of individual Americans investing of themselves in both a ship and a cause. At Pride, Inc. we are both deeply humbled and greatly exhilarated to have so many people – our members, our fans, and our volunteers – invested in our mission. The realization and incorporation of that support, coming succinctly with the dawning of the War of 1812 Bicentennial, is precisely what makes this spring – the “Pride Spring” – something extra-ordinary. We’ve been reminded just who’s backing us, and we intend to make all of them, in a word, proud.

All best,
Jamie Trost, a Captain with Pride of Baltimore, Inc.

PRIDE II's Volunteer Project takes on Wings

Pride of Baltimore II’s Volunteer Winter Maintenance took on a new dimension this month when we welcomed Boy Scout Daniel Trazzi into the fold as he works toward earning the rank of Eagle Scout. The following is Daniel’s account of his project and his experience with Pride of Baltimore II.

It was 8:30 on a Saturday morning. The wind chill brought the air to something near freezing. And I was there, with a group of around ten others, to sand spars in a shrink-wrapped tent. My name is Daniel Trazzi and I am working on my service project to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. I am a member of Troop 35, which operates out of the Church of the Redeemer. Our troop is very proud that each of our scouts does a minimum of three service projects on their path to Eagle; often putting in much more than the required hours for each. Our Eagle project is expected to be serious and meaningful. I had looked at several options for my project, but was having some trouble getting it coordinated with the various organizations. My Scoutmaster, Jack Kidd, has a long family history with the Pride of Baltimore organization and he suggested that I think about arranging my service project to benefit the ship,  I was fortunate to make the arrangement and focus my activities on helping Pride of Baltimore II.

The celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 has created an opportunity to bring Pride II to the forefront of the hearts and minds of every person in the city. I have seen her written up in the newspaper and seen her on television, but had never had any firsthand contact with her. With this year being the kick-off to the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and with Pride II being such a symbol of that era, to be a part of helping to get her ready for the festivities, not to mention to experience what it was like to maintain a ship of that era has been a rewarding experience. And not just for me, but also for other scouts that were involved as well. From my perspective, the ability to meet with Captain Miles and Captain Trost provided me with an excellent project opportunity. While it was a no-nonsense environment, the first half of my project was fun. After one day I came away with a feeling of what it was like to keep a ship like Pride II going; I can only imagine what it is like to sail her. We all know about the legacy of the Prides, now I feel like I have new sense of connection to Pride II.

On a cold snowy Saturday, I had 15 people come down to help. Rohan, a crewmember, was a tremendous resource as we worked, teaching us the necessary techniques for the various jobs. I spoke with Thomas Kibbe, an Eagle Scout in our troop and he said: “How different she looks all broken down for the work.  Can’t wait to see her all finished.”

I’m going back this Saturday with another group of Scouts. People have been very supportive, and many have been asking me if they can help. People who have “aged out” of our troop have offered to come back, which is a rarity in our troop. And it is the first time that I am aware of where people are asking if they can come to the project, rather than the organizer having to hunt them down. There is a serious and genuine interest in keeping Pride II alive. And hopefully, by doing this project I can get more people involved in working on Pride II.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Jack Kidd, my Eagle mentor and Scoutmaster: “ Lots of people know about Pride of Baltimore II, but very few people have taken the time to get to really know Pride of Baltimore II.”

-Daniel Trazzi, Boy Scout Troop #35, Baltimore, MD

Trent Hawkins, recent Eagle Scout, sands a spar.
The full workforce.
People working on Chasseur, a smaller ship that is usually kept on the deck.
Charlie Kibbe works on touching up spots on a spar.
If you are interested in getting involved with Pride of Baltimore II, please contact us by calling 410-539-1151 or send an email to