Victory Chimes

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For Immediate Release


National Historic Landmark Tall Ship
Celebrates 100th Year

Once there were thousands of American sailing ships with three or more masts- including one having seven masts - plying their trade along the North American coast line. These large sailing ships delivered the goods of a developing nation to far way ports and across great oceans. Today there is but a single American built survivor, still sailing, from those long lost days when the large sailing ships dominated America's "Golden Age of Sail."

Victory ChimesThat vessel is the three-masted schooner, Victory Chimes. Nautical historians refer to Victory Chimes as a "Chesapeake Bay Ram." About 30 of these Rams were built at yards along the Nanticoke River from 1870 to around 1920. The Chesapeake Bay Rams are considered to be some of America's most successful cargo sailing vessels, earning that reputation during an era that saw steam powered vessels taking over the trade.

According to her owners, Victory Chimes is essentially still doing the job she was designed for. "She is still a working vessel, built to try and generate income, under sail, for her owners," says Capt Kip Files, who along with Capt Paul DeGaeta, own and operate the historic schooner. With no auxiliary engine, Victory Chimes is the largest American flagged, pure sailing vessel, still in operation.

The schooner was built at Bethel, Delaware in 1900, where she was christened the Edwin and Maud after her first captain's two children. For the past hundred years, she has quietly supported a succession of owners. During the first half of the 20th Century, she carried lumber and fertilizer along the Eastern Seaboard. Edwin and Maud served as a merchant vessel during both World Wars. Because she was constructed of wood, she was assigned duty during WWII to check the antisubmarine mine fields of the Chesapeake Bay, to make sure magnetic mines were still on station. After WWII, she was converted to the passenger trade, sailing for several years out of Annapolis. In 1954, she was sold and sailed by her new owners to Maine, where she was re-christened Victory Chimes. She has been sailing as a Windjammer ever since and now sails out of the port of Rockland. In 1997, Victory Chimes became one of only 127 vessels designated an American National Historic Landmark.

Victory Chimes returned to the Chesapeake Bay in September, to celebrate her centennial anniversary. After participating in The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, to bring awareness to environmental issues of the Bay upon which she was launched, she arrived at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where she wintered. The centennial celebration will occur on the 100th Anniversary of her launching, Saturday, April 15, 2000 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland. Expected to be on hand, are dozens of descendants from those with a connection to the ships storied past. They include family members of the ships designer, the owner of the yard where she was built, the ships first captain and others who sailed aboard and helped her survive to celebrate this incredible anniversary. One of the guest speakers for the event will be Captain Jan Miles, of Pride of Baltimore II, dean of the Chesapeake Bay traditional sailing Captains. He and Capt Kip Files came aboard the traditional sail industry as youngsters together in the early 1970's.

Victory Chimes"We've been planning this visit to the Bay for about five years," said Capt Paul DeGaeta. "Victory Chimes has endeared herself to two distinct regions of the Atlantic Coast. Kip and I both felt it was important that we celebrate this milestone anniversary on the waters where she was launched."

Capt Files said the vessel will have a busy summer. "After her centennial celebration and a short sailing season in the bay, we will then head back to Maine, with a stop in New York. We are scheduled to host Governor Angus King and promote Maine Windjamming during a short stop at South Street Sea Port. From there, we will return to our home waters in time to participate in the Booth Bay Windjammer Days, in mid June. Then we will enjoy the vessels 100th anniversary season sailing with our passengers for the rest of the summer. They are the reason this vessel has lasted so long."

Unfortunately, the Victory Chimes will not be attending any of the Tall Ship events scheduled for the East Coast this summer. "We are a working vessel, and that's the time of year that we work," said Files. "It has been that way for most of her history-she hasn't had the luxury of blocking out time from her passenger carrying duties to get away for these events. Although there have been a few ports willing to help her financially, the foreign built class A vessels seem to get all the attention. So if you want to visit the only American built and owned Class A Tall Ship, you will have to come to Maine were America's fleet of historic sailing vessels-The Maine Windjammer's- have there own tall ship event, for those lucky few passengers who book cruises, every week all summer long. This is truly Maine's best kept secret."

For further information about Victory Chimes or her 100th Anniversary celebration call (800) 745-5651, or visit their web site at www.victorychimes.com.

Read more about the Victory Chimes:

National Historic Landmark Tall Ship Celebrates 100th Year
Historic Chesapeake Bay Ram Schooner Returns to Bay
A Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection - is it Important?
Shipboard Romance by Lisa Matte
Victory Chimes Begins Her Second Century of Working Sail
Sailing on the Fringes of History to an Historic Landmark
June Knowles Celebrates her 50th Cruise
Tall Ships Festival an Everyday Occurrence
Victory Chimes and the Maine Windjammer Fleet
Victory Chimes makes the "Top 200 Yachts" List
 
Victory Chimes
is a proud member of the
Maine
Windjammer Association

Victory Chimes
PO Box 1401, Rockland, ME 04841
800-745-5651

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