|Alabama at Bannister's Wharf in Newport, R.I. - home of the Black Dog store in Newport|
26 October 09 Alabama
BOAT: Alabama http://theblackdogtallships.com/the-fleet/the-schooner-alabama/
OWNER: Robert S. Douglas http://www.mvtimes.com/2012/07/02/all-about-boats-sailmv-honors-capt-robert-s-douglas-11240/
DESIGNER: Thomas F. McManus, Boston MA
BUILDER: Pensacola Shipbuilding Co. FL. http://www.pensacolamarina.com/history.htm
LENGTH: 90 feet [27.4 meters]
HULL: Southern Yellow Pine over Oak
At this point, the Black Dog brand has become famous worldwide. http://www.theblackdog.com/While many enjoy the clothing, and its connection to Martha’s Vineyard, few realize that the whole thing started as a means to support a tall ships program.
In 1964, Captain Robert Douglas of Martha’s Vineyard- keen to preserve the maritime history of New England- founded Coastwise Packet Company. First, he designed and built the 108 foot topsail schooner Shenandoah. Two years later, he purchased another schooner retiring from a forty year career as a pilot boat in Mobile Bay, Alabama. Tired, but still stout, Alabama became the second in a fleet of tall ships owned and maintained by the Black Dog Tavern and clothing company.
Most tall ships require grants and sponsorship to remain active, but Alabama, and Shenandoah, are supported by the Vineyard based tavern, and the various clothing outlets.
Alabama came to Bannister’s Wharf in Newport this past week – open for tours to the public- to support the store on the wharf that supports the ship. Next time you are down on the wharf, check out the store, and ask about the boat.