Friendship Sloops

The design of the Friendship Sloop evolved more than a hundred years ago in the region Muscongus Bay. Built primarily for fishing before the internal combustion engine became ubiquitous, each vessel was a reflection of the unique personality of the man who fished that boat, and what his requirements were. While one waterman might need a small vessel for working single handed close inshore, another might require a much larger vessel to fish deeper waters, or transport goods. As a result, the term “Friendship Sloop” is a recognizable type of boat, that never the less, includes a wide range of variables.
     The Friendship Sloop that you might see today sailing along the New England coast is, more than likely, either a pleasure craft or a day charter. While the later is certainly a working boat, “walking cargo” requires different, more aesthetic, priorities than fishing. However, great variation from boat to boat is still an unquestionable characteristic of the type. In a day and age where most pleasure craft are cast, clone-like, in large quantities, from the same proverbial and literal mold, it is truly refreshing to see such diversity within a single type. As these boats sail into the twenty-first century, they are still recognizable expressions of individuality.
     In many ways, the Friendship Sloop Society celebrates the aforementioned individualism. The visual expression of this becomes obvious at the annual homecoming in Rockland Maine each July. You only have to look at the docked gathering of boats to see that variation and diversity is alive and well.


        If this sound interesting, swing by the gathering next July, you will not find a more welcoming group of sailors anywhere.




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