In summer, lovers of the harbor have a special treat: a diverse collection of traditional sail can be seen. Places on these vessels are available for the general public, charters, school groups, and more.


The oldest of these is Pioneer, above, sailing out of South Street Seaport. Pioneer is an iron (now steel) centerboard schooner built in 1885 to haul sand from beaches on Delaware Bay into Chester, Pennsylvania


Another South Street Seaport vessel is Lettie G. Howard, a 1895 wooden fishing schooner that used to dory fish on the Grand Banks. Now it’s affiliated with a charter high school in Brooklyn and in summer sails between New York and Boston. Both Pioneer and Lettie have crews made up of skilled professionals and volunteers.


A. J. Meerwald‘s homeport is Bivalve, New Jersey. Meerwald, officially New Jersey’s tall ship, was built in 1928 as an oyster schooner. Today it does educational sails on Delaware Bay and sometimes on New York harbor, sailing out of Liberty State Park. Notice the Red Hook sugar mill in the distance just astern Meerwald; see Red Hook now, for it’s transforming.

Here Pioneer and Adirondack race northward at dusk. Adirondack is a recently built schooner replica that sails out of Chelsea Piers.

My favorite: Pioneer. Sail Pioneer next spring after uprig.