CA Thayer

From the day they are launched, every ship has a life expectancy.

The ships that go beyond their working lives into the preservation era need skilful and charismatic leadership. On the West Coast of the United States, two large wooden 3-masted schooners, built for the booming lumber trade in the 1890s, managed to make it through into the age of restoration.

Both these schooners became salmon fi shing ships that sailed to Alaska every summer. The 156ft schooner Wawona undertook her last fishing voyage in 1947 with 30 men from Seattle, Washington. There was then a long attempt to preserve her, but this was defeated and she was broken up in 2009.

The 156ft CA Thayer left the lumber trade in 1912 and sailed to Alaska every summer to catch and can salmon until she became a cod fishing schooner in the Bering Sea in 1927. The US Government used her as a barge during World War II and she retired from cod fishing in 1950.

Eventually, the CA Thayer became the responsibility of the National Historical Park at San Francisco who had her rebuilt and launched in 2012. Her major restoration has recently been completed.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - November 2017 Issue
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