The Schooner Yankee

The Schooner Yankee  Project

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 4 feet of water in a Cape Breton cove under Canadian ownership. This schooner became the most famous schooner in the world.

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 yacht 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 windship. 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 a new 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 the hull from a shallow cove near the Alexander Graham Bell home in Baddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her hull will then be brought to Lunenburg town, where the shipbuilding and expertise to reconstruct this vessel exists. Her rebuilt hull 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”

Alternately she can be reconstructed as a joint effort between the US and Canada

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 to international 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 publicized 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? I would approach the magazine 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 MMC in 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 a ball park quote showing $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.


Additional Revenue Potential

Company will produce a Yankee video documentary 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:

Movie charters as in


Host vessel appearances.

Private parties.

Cadets/ amateur sailors.

4 x $800 per month

Music by James Devine:

The Yankee She Lives to Sail Once More”: 

The Pride of Both Countries”: 


The name “Yankee” is synonymous with traditional deep sea sailing and the romance of adventure under sail. The Boudreau Family, last registered owners of this famed vessel sailing between Nova Scotia and the Caribbean islands to the south now offer our rights to her hull.

This is the schooner that inspired thousands to embrace the romance of the sea and the wonderful wind ships of yesteryear. Under the able command of Captain Irving Johnson, the schooner “Yankee” circumnavigated the globe 3 times. Her passengers & crew experienced the adventure of life under sail as it was in the days of yore.

Later, the schooner “Yankee” continued to carry passengers under the ownership and command of Canadian, Captain Walter Boudreau, and his Windjammer cruises. His son, Captain Lou Boudreau, wrote a book titled “The Man Who Loved schooners” chronicling their adventures under sail.( See books for sale)

The Schooner Yankee project is committed to recapturing this wonderful era and we look forward to your kind support.

Contact Capt. Lou:  1-902 531 2258


Please click on link to see presentation slide of the Schooner Yankee: Schooner Yankee

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