I’m taking again this description from Wikipedia, because the Friendship Sloop definition can be found only there for the moment. There is a page which promotes a book about these sloops, but the provided information is even scarcer. Anyway, in the following sentences you will learn a little about this traditional boat type. It is called Muscongus Bay sloop or lobster sloop, for obvious reasons.
This particular sloop has been first built in Friendship, Maine, United States of America, in nineteenth century’s last decade. But first, I have to clear up what is a sloop, don’t I?
A sloop is a sailing boat with a single mast, a fore-and-aft rig, and a head-sail. A sailing boat with two head-sails is called a cutter.
A fore-and-aft rig is a sailing rig consisting of sails that are set along the line of the keel rather than perpendicular to it. The head-sail is any sail set forward of the foremost mast.
The Friendship Sloop – Story
Today, it is a pleasure boat, but it was considered a traditional fishing boat used on Maine’s coast, to catch lobster. Wilbur A. Morse, a builder from Friendship made many boats during 1880 to 1910, when the gasoline engine was introduced and the sloops were replaced.
One man could manage its single-masted rig and haul traps unassisted, and the boat could carry large loads. With an open cockpit aft, and a small forward cabin outfitted with bunks and a stove, it made fishing during cold weather much enjoyable. In 1880 these sloops were built from 16 to 20 feet long but over time they became much longer. Modern models, both wooden and fiberglass, remain popular among enthusiasts. Races are now organized and below you also have a video to illustrate that.
Friendship sloops are not identical in size or shape, but they share a common design and appear similar. They can range from 21′ to 50′ but most are between 25′ and 31′ in length. The Friendship sloop is recognized these days as an American classic.
The video shows a Friendship sloop race:
Don’t be shy, and tell me if you want to find out more about these historical boat types.
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