Schooner tossed onto pier by storm

A canal that had served faithfully as a hurricane hole for Capt. Joseph Maggio’s two schooners Heritage of Miami II and William H. Albury failed to stop the wrath of Hurricane Floyd in Sept. 1999 as depicted here in these dramatic photos. The 70-foot, 47-gt wooden schooner William H. Albury, which has sailed from Man O War Cay, Bahamas, and Miami for 26 years on sail-training programs was lifted from its berth by surge that was more than 20 feet above normal.

The vessel was badly damagedapproximately $100,000 has been spent in refitting it for servicebut Maggio’s foresight and pre-storm preparations have paid off: his insurance company, Alliance Marine Group, which provides insurance for a pool of other sail-training vessels, approved his requests for salvage and reconstruction of cracked hull planks, splintered bowsprit, split spars, and partially destroyed cabins.

“We had the boat way up in a canal at Leisurely, which is between Treasure Cay and Marsh Harbor in Abaco, but a tornado that broke off the eye wall of Hurricane Floyd ripped down a stand of pine trees that stood around the boat. The schooner broke through four pilings and landed next to this guy’s house, where the water was up to the second floor,” said Maggio, who described to his insurance company prior to the storm the various preparations being made by his crew to protect the schooner.

The vessel is being rebuilt by Maggio and his crew, led by shipwright Rick Sexton at Jones Boat Yard, a do-it-yourself yard on the Miami River. It will return to service in early March.

By Ocean Navigator