I = Isaac H. Evans

An  ‘I’ was definitely hard to find and then I discovered the isacc H. Evans.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIsaac H. Evans is another Maine Windjammer, currently serving the tourist trade, similar to the Grace Bailey. This two-masted schooner was built by George Vannaman in 1886 in Mauricetown, New Jersey and was first owned by a consortium.Vannaman Shipyard in Mauricetown, NJ, circa 1873

Vannaman Shipyard in Mauricetown, NJ, circa 1873

She eventually became the sole property of Harrison Sheppard. Originally named the Boyd N. Sheppard, she is the oldest of a small number of surviving oyster schooners. Sheppard worked the oyster beds of Delaware Bay, using her to ship his product to New York City. In 1909 she was sold to the three sons of Isaac H. Evans in 1919, An oystering boatwho renamed her after their father .

She continued to work in the oyster trade until 1946, when her masts were removed and a motor installed. Use of this type of ship in the oystering industry declined in the years after World War II, and many of the existing schooners were either scrapped or laid up and left to rot.

Isaac H. Evans was purchased by a couple from Rockland, Maine, and brought from New Jersey to the old Percy and Small Shipyard, which is now part of the Bath Maritime Museum, in 1971. By 1973 she was completely rebuilt to her original sailing configuration and adapted for her new use in the existing Maine windjammer fleet. She was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

Schooner Isaac H Evans by Capt. Doug LeeIsaac H. Evans has a 99 foot long deck, is 20 feet wide at the beam, and draws only 6 feet when her centerboard is up, 13 when it is down. Her very shallow draft allows the boat to haunt the islands of the coast and visit its small harbors. She has two masts and a gaff rigged topsail, low sides and an elegant clipper bow. A trailing small power boat is used for auxiliary power to maneuver the vessel on and off the dock and when she is becalmed, similar to the Grace Bailey. The schooner’s framing is double-sawn oak and she has oak planking. Her complement of sails includes a mainsail, main topsail, foresail, staysail, and jib, and her hold has been fitted for passenger occupancy.

Isaac H. Evans carries 22 vacationers on one to six-night sailing trips in Penobscot Bay with her sailing grounds ranging from Boothbay Harbor to Bar Harbor. Passengers help with the sails and other tasks, so they get the experience of a trip back in time.




23 thoughts on “I = Isaac H. Evans”

    1. I think you can take or leave participating in sailing the ship, but the amenities are spartan below, so it might not be much fun on a rainy day.

  1. i wish i could go back, Noelle, i truly do but alas and all that..
    but then i do return each time i read one of your posts.
    This is an excellent series.

    Big Hugs


    1. Bring woolies and rain gear and be prepared to rough it! But from some of the places I’ve read you’ve been, I think you would enjoy the trip!

  2. Hi there – I really like Isaac H. Evans’ current use. I wouldn’t mind a six-night sailing trip on her. And I wouldn’t mind helping with the sails and such. That would be a nice experience.

    1. Then you need to go! I am looking forward to sailing on a 12 meter in San Francisco or San Diego Harbors (maybe both) since I fell in love with America’s Cup racing!

  3. Another fascinating post that took time and effort to create. I hope you can convert this info into a booklet that can be sold by the Chamber of Commerce or some other Maine outlet. Worthy of another life after the #Challenge.

  4. I love you blogs. You were one of the first blogs I follow and I am so glad I did. They are beautifully written and are very inspiring. Can’t wait for more!

  5. Hello,
    How wonderful are these images of Boyd N. Sheppard. My husband and I recently purchased the Evans and will be returning her to her original name. We are doing major renovations to her at North End Shipyard. I’m so curious where did you find these images?
    Thank you,
    Captain Katie McKInlay

    1. Dear Captain McKinlay, I am DELIGHTED you found me and very pleased to hear you are restoring the Evans. I would love to come and visit you and your boat the next time we are in Maine, just to say hi and look around and maybe interview you. I do research on lots of people and places for my books and also for magazine articles. I am pretty sure I found all the pictures on line. I didn’t have a reference book but scoured the internet for subjects, since this was a one-a day blog challenge for the month of April and the subjects have to be alphabetical. I chose Maine as my general topic.
      Thanks so much for dropping by. You can reach me at
      PS I do sail, biggest one I’ve crewed was a Columbia 50, but I’m older now so I only have a 17 foot sailboat.

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