Saturday, July 23, 2011

What Is a Pinky Schooner Exactly?

The Pinky Maine last winter

The grand lady of all Essex schooners - The Ernestina
The Ernestina (not a pinky) had her bow and front section restored in 2008 at Boothbay Harbor shipyard, Harold oversaw the restoration.

Just before the launch, some people who are knowledgeable about such things described the Ardelle as being a clipper pinky - which she is. The clipper description is due to the fact  she does have a slightly more defined bow than say the pinky Maine. This is due in part to some pleading from Laurie, and her friend Aarjan, who argued that we would sail across the Atlantic Ocean on the Ardelle, but we wanted to get there quickly, or relatively quickly, and we felt we would need a clipper pinky to cut through the waves. Well, that is the way we are telling the story but it is open to intepretation. We love the bow, and it is alogether a very yar vessel!

However, a lot of folks have been asking lately...what a pinky schooner is so we have a brief description here by way of explanation. Pinky schooners were a common type of New England fishing vessel that sailed out of local Cape Ann harbors from the early eighteenth century through the early twentieth century. In 1839, there were 64 registered pinky schooners out of the Cape Ann and its district. Pinkies were generally smaller vessels from which men fished over the side but they were also known for their seaworthiness. These vessels were so distinctive in their look and common that a careful study of many marine paintings from the era will have a pinky or two in the background. Many of the paintings of the internationally renowned artist Fitz Henry Lane, including those in the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. usually have pinkies in the background of the painting. "Pinky" means that the stern is "pinked" or pinched together which indicates a pointed stern and may originally be a Dutch word.

It is believed that the pinkies developed from Chebacco boats. A good many of them were built at Essex. These vessels were built to a very high standard and some lasted a very long time. The original MAINE was built in 1845 and sailed until 1926. The ARDELLE is a typical full-rigged clipper Pinky and her design is largely based on the original MAINE –  although the Ardelle  is larger and havs more of a clipper feel.
The clipper pinky schooner Ardelle

The Ardelle during the planking stage

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the explanation! The lines are nice, I always like double-enders.