On April 17, 1923, the original Columbia was launched in Essex, Massachusetts, U.S. Ninety-one years later, an exact replica of the Columbia (ESG Hull 981) was launched in Panama City, Florida.
Eastern Shipbuilding Group has launched Columbia, a steel hull replica of the historic Gloucester Fishing Schooner. The launching was held on August 23, 2014 at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility with employees, dignitaries and guests in attendance.
At the christening ceremony, Brian D’Isernia spoke about the journey of bringing the Columbia back to life, the teamwork of the companies, and thanked the hard work of the men and women that made this dream possible. Steve Southerland, U.S. Representative of the 2nd District of Florida, spoke about the teamwork and dedication of putting together a vessel like the Columbia. Father Roy Marien of Saint John’s Catholic Church of Panama City, Florida, performed the blessing of the vessel. Brian’s wife, Mimi D’Isernia had the honor of christening the Columbia.
The original Columbia was a 141’ classic Gloucester Fishing Schooner built at the historic A.D. Story shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts. Essex was the center for North American Fishing Schooner construction. Designed by the innovative William Starling Burgess, the Columbia was bred for speed. In the fall of 1923, the Columbia challenged the Bluenose, Canada’s legendary schooner in the International Fishermen’s Cup Races in Halifax. Nearly winning the title, the Columbia was narrowly defeated by the Bluenose and was one of the few American schooners to provide a challenge to Bluenose.
Tragedy struck the promising young Columbia on August 24, 1927 near Sable Island, the notorious “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, where the Columbia was lost with all hands in a gale.
Decades later, Brian D’Isernia, owner of Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City, Florida, discovered the original lines plan of the Columbia in the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Massachusetts. He took the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of bringing a significant piece of maritime history back to life. Drawn by her proud history and her beauty, Brian began the journey of bringing the Columbia back to life, and returning her to the glory she deserves.
Working with John W. Gilbert & Associates of Boston, Massachusetts, the design was re-engineered with a steel hull instead of wood. An engine room and staterooms were added to the design. Covey Island Boatworks of Lunenburg Nova Scotia built the rigging and spars. Blocks were fabricated by A. Dauphinee & Sons and all the sails were constructed by Michelle Stevens Sailloft, LTD, both from the Second Peninsula, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Teak decking was completed by Teakdecking Systems of Florida.
Columbia is due to take part in Antigua Classics in April, 2016.
|Designer:||William Starling Burgess|
|Type of Boat:|
|Rig:||2 Masted Schooner|
|Built By:||Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Florida, USA|
|LOA m / ft:||42.9m / 141'2"|
|LOD m / ft:|
|LWL m / ft:||33.5m / 110'|
|Beam m / ft:||7.8m / 25'6"|
|Draft m / ft:|