Crewmembers Nicole Morse and Sherman Brewer remove old caulking from the distinctive boxy hull of the 119-year-old ram schooner Victory Chimes, which was hauled out at Rockland Marine on May 16 for maintenance. (Photos by Ethan Andrews)
Crewmembers Nicole Morse and Sherman Brewer remove old caulking from the distinctive boxy hull of the 119-year-old ram schooner Victory Chimes, which was hauled out at Rockland Marine on May 16 for maintenance. (Photos by Ethan Andrews)
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If you wanted to know the dimensions of a river lock in the vicinity of Chesapeake Bay in the early 20th century, you could fly over Victory Chimes and look down. The three-masted schooner, built in Bethel, Delaware, in 1900 for transporting lumber along the inland waterways of the Mid-Atlantic, was sized to within inches of the lock dimensions to maximize capacity and profits. The result was a distinctive hull that, for most of its 135-foot length, resembles a massive shoe box. The ship, which has been in passenger service in Maine since the 1950s, was hauled out at Rockland Marine on May 16 for a week of maintenance. Sam Sikkema, who with his partner Cara Lauzon bought Victory Chimes in 2018, said the haul-out was the first in more than three years, and somewhat overdue. “There’s a mussel farm under there,” he said, looking at the broad underside of the hull — once flat but gone slightly concave with age. Victory Chimes was the first ship hauled out on a new rail system installed at Rockland Marine, and the old ship christened it with clumps of bivalves. The schooner was scheduled to have its seams checked and hull painted and given a general inspection. “Shave and a haircut,” Sikkema said. Visitors will mostly see the handsome topsides of Victory Chimes this summer when the ship is back in the water and making multi-day cruises on Penobscot Bay. Sikkema described the trips as a way for sailing novices to see the region from a different vantage point.