Norfolk, VA: The Board of Directors of the Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation announces that the Schooner VIRGINIA, a 122’ foot replica of a 1917 Virginia Pilot schooner of the same name, has been listed for sale with Sparkman & Stephens, LLC.
VIRGINIA’s keel was laid in Norfolk in 2002 and she was launched with great fanfare in 2005 as the Commonwealth’s flagship, providing an educational resource for youth and adults and a tangible symbol of Virginia’s historic connection to the sea. She conducted sail training voyages, appeared at numerous maritime festivals in the Chesapeake Bay and on the East Coast, making voyages to Nova Scotia, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. In 2007, assisted by a brisk northwest breeze, she set a course record for the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, besting her friendly rival, the Pride of Baltimore II.
Sailing operations were funded by student and adult bookings, appearance fees, donations and public funds. The 2008 recession led to a substantial drop in philanthropic support and the disappearance of public funding. Despite the mending economy, bookings, charters, appearance fees and contributions from private donors have failed to reach a level adequate to sustain the ship’s continued operation by the VMHF.
Sparkman & Stephens was established in 1929 to engage in the practice of naval architecture and to conduct the business of yacht brokerage, charter and insurance and for over 85 years has been one of the most trusted and respected names in yachting. Inquiries regarding the Schooner VIRGINIA should be directed to Harry Morgan, CPYB of Sparkman & Stephens, LLC at 170 Mason Street, Greenwich, CT, 06830, Telephone (203) 687-4535, Email [email protected]