Logo   What's a Maine Windjammer?
A Maine windjammer is a small sailing ship, a schooner or sloop, sailing the coasts and islands of Maine, offering one of New England's finest vacation adventures.




Maine windjammers are sailing vessels of two types:

Sloop or Schooner

A schooner is a sailing vessel rigged fore and aft, with at least two masts, of which the foremast is often smaller.

A sloop is a single-masted sailing vessel rigged fore and aft, with a short standing bowsprit (if it has a bowsprit at all), and a single headsail set from the forestay.

How They Sail

Most Maine windjammers have an auxiliary engine or yawl boat for calm days and/or for maneuvering in port, but the main motive force is by wind and sail. The wind really does move you along, and if there's no wind you go slow, or anchor until the wind rises.

Traditional schooners and sloops in Maine windjammer service are relatively small vessels, not large cruise ships. Space on board is at a premium, and is used with great economy. Accommodations and facilities are not luxurious, but of adequate comfort.

Two Maine windjammers under sail in Penobscot Bay
Sail power: it's worked for 3000 years—and still does!

Passengers as Crew

On a traditional Maine windjammer cruise, voyagers may volunteer to help the crew to hoist, lower and furl the sails and other simple tasks requiring many hands. Such work is your choice, of course—no requirement.

That's part of the fun! For many voyagers, the problem is not that they have to share in the crew's duties, but that they always want to do more and really have the experience of being part of the vessel's life.

The most exciting duty is to take the helm and steer the vessel, which may be possible if conditions permit.

Luckily, voyagers never have to help with kitchen clean-up!

List of Maine Windjammers

Here are some of the finest windjammers offering cruises.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Next: Life Aboard a Windjammer

List of Maine Windjammers

Maine Windjammer Ports

What to Bring & Pack

When to Go on a Cruise

Windjammer Gam (Gathering)

About Windjammers


Hotels in Maine

Midcoast Maine

New England Outdoors

New England Transportation

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Schooner - windjammer Mary Day, Maine

Schooner Mary Day
anchoring in Penobscot Bay.


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