Under the management of MMC Mermaid Marine Consultants

Schooner Yankee Restoration:-

The schooner Yankee gained worldwide fame under the command of Captain Irving Johnson who sailed her around the world many times and then with Canadian Captain Walter Boudreau, who started Nova Scotia Windjammer Cruises, with Yankee as the flagship of his fleet. She is now under Canadian ownership and became the most famous schooner in the world. The Yankee today is a Canadian owned vessel.

A unique opportunity exists to raise and rebuild this famous schooner and utilize her fame in the cruise/cadet business. The name “Yankee” is synonymous with traditional deep sea sailing and adventure under sail.  The reconstructed ship will give clients the opportunity to go back in time and sail on a truly authentic vessel. We will stress real sailing, and the Yankee will operate as a true wind ship. Her design and rig will reflect this philosophy. Her powerful diesel will be used to maintain schedules in windless or adverse conditions and enter and leave port.

Aboard the Yankee our sea cadets will learn the seagoing arts of yesteryear while other clients will experience the romance of life under sail as it was, while offering a measure of comfort and on board livability. Comfortable cabins, hearty meals and a well-appointed main salon make our amateur seafarers happy after a long watch on deck. Our target clients will include a wide range of people. Those who want to experience the way it was at sea on a real true sailing vessel but not at the expense of great hardship. And those who want to cruise interesting ports of call while experiencing some adventure sailing as well. This will include clients booking individual berths, some term charter, berths for transatlantic and other exciting passages, cadets, sail training, and corporate character building programs. 

Our water maker will supply sufficient fresh water for showers and washing and an onboard laundry will keep the linen clean. Morning at sea will see all hands turned to daily chores while those who have an interest in navigation or sail in handling can lend a hand. Others may wish to relax in the lee of the deckhouse and read. Our ever-trolled deep-sea fishing lines bring excitement as giant tuna or wahoo are fought to the side of the ship before being brought aboard. A fine meal of fresh fish is served that same night. Occasionally a big shark will be landed & released. Other recreational activities provided by the ship might include snorkeling on coral reefs, exploring remote locations, forts and harbors, sport fishing with rod and reel, using the ship library or steering the ship under sail. The Yankee will explore out of the way bays and coves and the ships launch will explore river inlets and coastlines.

In port our passengers will visit old world towns, pristine beaches and interesting markets and shops. Research indicates that there are thousands of folks out there already indulging themselves in voyages under sail. A chance to sail on the restored schooner Yankee will be exceptional especially if the vessel provides them with a degree of comfort.

The Vessel

Step one is to raise parts of her hull from a shallow cove near the Alexander Graham Bell home in Baddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Parts will then be brought to Lunenburg town, where the shipbuilding and expertise to rebuild this vessel exists. This work will be on display at the big boat shed providing a huge tourist attraction. It will be a major coup for the town of Lunenburg to be involved with what has been termed “The most famous sailing vessel ever to sail the Eastern seaboard of North America”

The Yankee will be restored in the old boat shed by renowed wooden ship builder, Dave Westerguard.

Design plans to be reproduced as close to the original as possible, based on the original plans from Holland. The interior arrangements will provide accommodation for aprox12 passengers/cadets in comfortable well laid out cabins. This can be increased to 14 slightly smaller ones or alternately a small deckhouse aft of the foremast for the cadets.  Power will be diesel giving positive cruising of 10 knots. Canvas will be Duradon. Ship will conform US passenger vessel requirements.

Basic Specs (Approx.)

96 feet OD

24 beam

11 feet draft

Teak or Iroko decks & cabin trim

Traditional gaff rig Sitka spruce spars

Duradon or Dacron sails

Plow steel standing rigging

Galvanised turnbuckles

Single/twin diesel giving 9-10 knots cruise

2 gen. sets

Water maker

Clipper bow and elliptical stern

Rub rail at deck level

Custom SS holding plate referring.

Holding tank sewage.

Air conditioning/ducted air.

Traditional catted Fisherman anchors and ground tackle.

Steel gallows frame

Hardwood belaying pins on all rails.

Flagging & Management

The reconstructed schooner will be Canada registered in Baddeck, NS where she was last registered and owned. She is a Canadian ship with an incredibly well-known brand worldwide. Mermaid Marine Consultants a company with a long history of success in ownership & operation of this type of vessel will manage the ship. In fact, there is a direct historical connection between this company and Nova Scotia Windjammer Cruises, the entity that first sailed the schooner under the ownership of Capt. Walter Boudreau.

With a reputable PR firm to promote the already highly publicised schooner Yankee. A formidable web page, advertising in suitable sailing magazines along with coverage from start to launch by the same will serve to announce and cover the project. A promotional video along with a publicity program to launch the ship will have to be arranged. The voyages of both the original Yankees were covered in detail by the National Geographic society. Perhaps a voyage retracing the routes of the original? We would approach the magazines to see if they would cover this ship. Wooden Boat, Sail Magazine, Pacific Yachting and cruising world could all provide a project commencement notice and perhaps ongoing articles.

The Company

Management will be from Nova Scotia where such service can be suitably facilitated. Company office will handle bookings, calendar, ships schedule, promotion, reservation, management and all aspects of the ships operation. Passenger’s bookings and charter contracts will come from web site, magazine advertising, client database, mail outs, travel agents, charter booking agents and personally known clients. Term charter bookings will be through charter clearing houses and travel agents worldwide. We will be happy to provide samples of quality brochures that we have done. Bookings are traditionally taken well in advance and the winter holiday season is usually filled months before the end of the year. The company would begin promotion and taking reservations based on an artist’s rendition of the vessel and cabins from the day construction begins. 

While the company will act primarily to fill the calendar of its own vessel or vessels, we should not forget that we can advertise and represent other ships that don’t belong to us as well. I have spoken to a number of windjammer lines that accept bookings from outside agencies on a 10-15 percent commission basis. A representative of our company attending the various charter boat shows around the world will secure the info necessary for this. This aspect of our venture can be very rewarding financially as well.

Another aspect of our project is that if we are able to produce a truly excellent vessel for a reasonable price then the company should promote this concept on its web site and offer this same service to others. 

Certainly the appearance of the schooner at various boat shows will be beneficial.   Here are the project figures and specs for launching the replica of the schooner Yankee. I have ball park quotes showing $2,500,000 – $3,000,000 to launch the finished vessel.  Further financial refining of the project will require detailed concept drawings and specifications. I understand this quote provides a rugged well-finished yacht like vessel with suitable interior for purpose intended including engines sails etc. It would not include many finishing items like electronics, galley equipment, final cabin decorations, etc.

Revenue Numbers

All cruise revenue numbers are based in fact and on actual operating companies such as Windjammer Cruises, Picton Castle and other sailing vessel tariffs per berth per person or by the week. The price range runs between $1250 per person per week to more than $4000 PP. PW. Private term charter rates would be around 25% higher (see Sir Malcom Miller).  The number of windjammer/charter type ventures operating world wide indicates new interest in this kind of vacation. Passenger carrying sailing vessels of the sort we envision usually come under three categories. Head vessels, term charter yachts and sailing school or training ships. Head vessels sell individual cabins or berths for preordained routes and duration. Term charters sell the whole vessel to one party for whatever time requested by the charterer for an area requested by the client with no specified route. Sail training sells berths for specific ocean passages as a character building experience. Our ship should be able to perform all three duties if called upon. Below is a sample itinerary for a head vessel sailing in the Caribbean and Mediterranean showing potential income? There is no reason why a well-run ship cannot meet this rigorous schedule. As a term charter vessel we could achieve 20-34 weeks per year. Our business owned some 16 large sailing vessels over the years and subsequently myself worked an average of 18-27 weeks per year with a high of 32. A well-finished schooner Yankee carrying 10 – 12 passengers should charter for $45,000-$65,000 per week all-inclusive less bar and port expenses. 

Annual Maintenance and Operational Costs

It is expected that once the vessel is fully operational she will cost $250,000 – $350,000 to operate annually as an internationally sailing windjammer yacht Training ship. This figure can be variable depending on circumstances.

Operational Cost Savings

Today’s yacht crews are not very well known for their maintenance skills or work ethics.  Most large yachts return to refit yards every year with long lists of work to be done by shipyard workers to the detriment of the owner. The Yankee’s crew would work along more traditional lines. Day to day maintenance is carried out on a day to day basis. Scheduled hull and engine work will be done by the crew as well as on the rig and other shipboard jobs.  The ship is of a size that the skipper will act as the engineer with shared responsibility by the mate. The design and finish of the ship while being clean and shippy will reflect a low maintenance philosophy. Cabin trim of varnished teak but white steel sides. Varnished cap rails but painted surface bulwarks for example. The ships rig will also be designed so that a minimum of crew can handle her. After the collapse of square rig in the North American cargo trade very large schooners of 3 and 4 mast were often sailed by a family of father and two sons and a cousin or so. This was facilitated by a donkey engine with two capstans forward to hoist and trim sail. A small nucleus of professional crew will sail the Yankee with one large set of capstan drums for such purpose once again making for ease of handling. On transatlantic passages where more that the usual numbers of crew are required to sail the vessel safely the passengers will lend a hand and stand watches. Most people who will sail on the Yankee will have an interest in doing this.       


The Caribbean from November to May offers the best sailing conditions in the world. A large sailing vessel reaches from island to island reaping her energy from the ever present NE Trade Winds. Later the months June through October present the hurricane months when potentially dangerous storms drift westwards across the Atlantic Ocean. Certainly many seafarers cruise and operate in the Caribbean during those months as indeed I did myself. The summer months for the Yankee however present an opportunity to venture into a number of other areas in the worlds cruising portfolio.

Ships Systems Cost Savings                                    

The ships mechanical systems will reflect a philosophy of simplicity. The main lighting will be dual of 24/110 and the main electrical drain refrigeration will be cold holding plate. This will facilitate a minimum of genset run time, a minimum of diesel consumption and generally less wear and tear on mechanical systems. The vessel will be able to anchor out in any part of the world avoiding busy and expensive marinas.

Sample Yankee ports of call.

12 month schedule


Winter Cruising:


British Virgin Islands

Tortola to Tortola. Ports of call Norman Island,

Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Guano Cay.



British Virgin Islands same area.



English Harbour Antigua, Les Saintes, Martinique,

St Lucia, and Grenadines

Southwards through Windward Islands



Grenada, Grenadines, St. Lucia, northwards to

Leeward Islands.


May & November Transatlantic



Summer Cruising:


East Coast of Canada

Numerous schedules available.


Company will produce a Yankee video focusing on the voyages of our ship. Reference tall ship chronicles on CBC concerning Picton Castle. Possible sale to TV for syndicated reality adventure.

Sale of Yankee video movies, souvenirs, shirts, hats, ship models etc.

Corporate Use:

Cadets/ amateur sailors.

Movie charters as in


Host vessel appearances.

Private parties.

4 x $800 per month.

Time-share: If the vessel is run as a term charter yacht then the time that she is not used other than the twenty weeks we could consider selling to an accredited sail training organisation, or private individuals on a daily basis at term charter rates.

Revenue from booking other vessels @ 15%.                             

A quote from The Man Who Loved Schooners:

“There resides in everyone the spirit of adventure, that small flame that inspires life’s quest. All that is required is the kindling and then it will burn brightly. The first sips of freedom’s heady brew are intoxicating and will pull you ever onwards, as it has me. Drink freely of it and you will not be disappointed. May fair winds fill your sails and the lee shore never find you.”

By Capt. Lou Boudreau

Music links to songs by James Devine:-


We offer a wide range of marine related services in the tourism area. We can give advice in marine tourism based on more than 30 years of international fleet management and operations in the luxury yacht field, marina construction and management. We offer advice in the tourism sector to help increase visitor numbers. PR and promotions are also important aspects of this.

























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