Eastern Shipbuilding in Panama City, Florida held sailing trials for its recently launched 141-foot (on deck) steel schooner Columbia on September 18. The strikingly handsome vessel stretched her first canvas off the beaches of Panama City — likely causing some people on the beach to wonder if they had been shunted back in time to the 1920s. This version of Columbia, profiled in the 2013 edition of Ocean Navigator's Yacht Review, is a reproduction of the original wooden fishing schooner Columbia built at the A.D. Story shipyard in Essex, Mass. in 1923.
Working with John W. Gilbert & Associates of Boston, Massachusetts, the design was re- engineered with a steel hull in lieu of the original wood. An engine room and staterooms were added to the design. Covey Island Boatworks of Lunenburg Nova Scotia built the rigging and spars. Blocks were fabricated by A. Dauphinee & Sons and all the sails were constructed by Michelle Stevens Sailloft, LTD, both from the Second Peninsula, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Teak decking was completed by Teakdecking Systems of Florida.
Columbia will continue to undergo final outfitting and delivery preparation this fall at Eastern. Columbia will also be exhibited at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show October 30th – November 3rd, 2014. Details can be found here.