The SEA RAVEN is a two masted 21 gross ton schooner, which is similar in design to the coasting schooners that carried on commerce off the East, Gulf, and West coasts of America throughout the 19th century and up until the 1930’s.  In those days before railroads and highways there were no container trucks, No Fed-Ex, no UPS. Instead, coastal schooners were the delivery system. Schooners were employed in the fishing, lumber & freight-hauling and delivery of passengers.

SEA RAVEN continues this traditional form of sailing making extended overnight cruises on the Northern and Central California Coast and on San Francisco Bay. Berthed in Brisbane Marina, Brisbane, California, she is 45 ft 9 in (length over all) and 57 ft 3 in (sparred length), spreading 1080 square feet of sail, and has a 75 hp diesel auxiliary engine.

She has complete overnight accommodations for up to 9 passengers and crew and shortly will also operate as a “six-pac” passenger vessel.

Typical Coasting Schooner from early 20th century that SEA RAVEN is patterned after.

COASTING SCHOONERS: These eco-friendly coastwise vessels evolved in 19th century America to take advantage of the diurnal breezes that occur every day in coastal waters. The on-shore sea breeze blows in daily, starting about 11 am, and the nightly offshore breeze begins about 11 pm. When you are sailing up or down the coast these beam winds encourage a rig designed to maximize sailing on a beam reach, which is the coasting schooner’s fastest point of sail. The schooner rig uses these on and off shore breezes to great advantage sailing well up and down the coasts and going in and out of the small sea port towns to deliver passengers and freight. And all done fore free using the winds. Most coasting schooners sail at 6 to 8 knots (7 to 10 miles per hour), but sailing day and night 24 hours becomes a passage of 168 to 240 miles, noon to noon.

However,  on the Sonoma-Mendocino coast of Northern California the “dog hole” outports are difficult to maneuver into and out of under sail alone, and so the Steam Schooner evolved as a hybrid, in the lumber trade on the Redwood Coast just North from San Francisco during the 19th century. Steam Schooners used their sails for long distance transport, and their steam engines for close in maneuvering into the “dog holes” (not enough room for a dog to turn around).

MODERN SCHOONERS: Like the Steam Schooners, SEA RAVEN uses her sails for the long passages and then has an auxiliary diesel engine to help maneuver into the “dog hole” outports of the San Mateo, and Sonoma-Mendocino coast. One of Captain Hugenot’s favorite “Dog Holes” is Caspar.

SEA RAVEN’S reliable 75 hp Diesel Engine 

Schooners have always been fast, maneuverable and require only a minimum of crew. Some of the fastest sailing vessels the world has seen were schooners and it became the rig of choice in America for yachts of the rich and famous during the early part of the 20th century.

Although the modern schooners replicate the great sailing traditions of the past, the use of modern materials and equipment makes them much stronger, safer, and easier to operate and maintain than earlier schooners. SEA RAVEN, built in 1972, is not intended to be a replica of any particular vessel from the past, it may have the grace and beauty of a two masted gaff headed schooner, with bowsprit, clipper bow, and trailer boards. But, it is also a well designed modern vessel.

Below one finds all the modern devices the make today’s yachting and cruising in grand style so interesting and pleasant.

Sea Raven’s well appointed interior (those are sails stowed on the pilot berth.

The SEA RAVEN’S hull and rig were designed in March 1970, as the “Porpoise” design no. 574, by Canadian Naval Architect, the late, William Garden. The design concept was to be a world cruiser, able to store immense amounts of supplies required for distant waters, and yet to be a real home on the ocean, designed to carry her crew in comfort wherever they may wish to wander. The SEA RAVEN was then built in 1972 by Tom Rigby at Anderson Cove, East Sooke, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

HULL DESIGN: Ruggedly built but without excessive weight, she is registered with a cargo capacity of 21 gross tons (18 net tons) Her frames are 1-1/4” by 2-1/4” steam bent oak on 12” centerlines, she is strip planked with 1-3/8” yellow cedar Sparred Length 57′-3″, LOA 45’-9”, LWL 33”-4″, BEAM 13′-4″ Draft 5’-8”, Dry (light) displacement of 34,000 lbs, which includes her  BALLAST 8,700 lbs. (outside), 1,000 lbs, (inside). Fully loaded for a world cruise she displaces about 60,000 lbs. FUEL CAPACITY. 200 Imperial gal (2oo gal., WATER CAPACITY. 240 gal. , BUNKS 9, She is also equipped with a 10 ft rowing dinghy, and a USCG certified 15 person life raft.

SAIL AREA 1,080 sf. Gaff Mainsail = 462 sf, Gaff Foresail = 300 sf, Genoa = 230 sf, Fore Staysail = 87.5 sf.

Schooner Sea Raven boils along at hull speed of 7.7 knots

SEA RAVEN MYTHOLOGY Celtic People once believed that when someone dies, a raven carries their soul to the land of the dead. But, sometimes something so bad happen in the life just ended and a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Sometimes, if the need is great, the raven can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.”

The SEA RAVEN is such a sanctuary of healing energy, where mediums have often delivered messages from the departed. Also,  like the mythological celtic raven SEA RAVEN also occasionally carries souls to the land of the dead, by performing AT SEA ASH SCATTERINGS of the deceased. The Farallone Islands are a favorite place for this activity.

The SEA RAVEN in HAIDA MYTHOLOGY: the Raven (Yelth or Hoya) is known to be a complex reflection of one’s own self. Often described as a “trickster” Raven can be a magician, a transformer, a potent creative force, and always a cultural hero. He is responsible for creating Haida Gwaii (the islands of the Haida), releasing the sun from its tiny box and making the stars and the moon. In one story he released the first humans from a clam shell found on the beach, at Rose Spit (the Northeast Point of Graham Island). Raven also acquired such things as fresh water, salmon and the house for humans.

Captain Hugenot, and Michael Grebowicz in the Schooner’s crew, have each sailed on separate cruises to the fabled islands of Haida Gwaii.