Festival of Sail – Sandusky, Ohio

On the Oregon Coast, we love our Tall Ships when they visit. The Lady Washington and the Hawaiian. But, we don’t have an exclusive on Tall Ships. They exist and visit in a variety of places. Starting this Thursday, there will be 6 different Tall Ships visiting on Lake Erie for the Festival of Sail Sandusky.

Sandusky is celebrating it’s bicentennial during 2018 and this is one event happening as part of that celebration. For four days, the 6 very different vessels will be in port here helping to celebrate this 200 year anniversary. Visitors will be able to purchase tickets to walk, tour and explore the ships.

There are photos of 5 of the ships starting with the U.S. Brig Niagara. During the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813, this ship and 8 others defeated 6 British vessels during the War of 1812. They took back Detroit and lifted spirits throughout the country. The present-day Niagara is the third replica of the original, launched into the lake in 1988, which was the 175th celebration of this battle. She measures 198 feet in length and 118 feet tall and is a two-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel.

The Schooner Madeline is also a replica of a typical mid-20th-century trading schooner that sailed the Great Lakes. Her maximum length is 92 feet. It took five years to build this ship as only traditional materials and methods were used. She launched in 1990.

From Bay City, Michigan comes the Appledore IV which was launched in 1989 and has a maximum length of 85 feet. Hard to tell but I’d swear that’s the Jolly Roger she’s flying!

Next is the Lettie G. Howard, a two-masted gaff topsail fishing schooner, 125 feet in length and built in 1893 in Essex, Massachusetts. This vessel was restored during 1992-93 and certified by the U.S. Coast Guard as a Sailing School Vessel in 1994.

In 2000, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 400 volunteers and professional shipwrights finished the S/V Denis Sullivan. She carries 21 overnight passengers and 50 on day sails.

The ships arrive on Thursday for the Parade of Sail. There will be food available and entertainment dockside. There will be festival merchandise, various vendors and a beer garden. An added attraction will be the World’s Largest Rubber Duck at anchor in the harbor. It is quite an, um, feather in Sandusky’s hat to have the duck in port.

She has been named “Mama Duck,” weighs 22,000 pounds and stands 6-stories tall. She is part of the bicentennial celebration in Sandusky.

If you are near the Shores of Lake Erie this coming weekend, be sure to visit Sandusky for this unique celebration and gathering of Tall Ships.

2 thoughts on “Festival of Sail – Sandusky, Ohio

  1. I work where the Lettie Howard was built. She is the oldest surviving Essex schooner and I park a few feet from where she was launched.She will be missed at this year’s Gloucester Schooner Festival but they must be having fun in the Lakes!

    Liked by 1 person

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