The Black Dog Tall Ships Co.PO Box 429Vineyard Haven, MA. 02568
The schooners Shenandoah and Alabama are both products of the island of Martha’s Vineyard. In a community with such a rich maritime history, the Black Dog Tall Ships began its commitment to this Sailing School program to allow those who grow up here the opportunity to experience and appreciate this. To this end, and since 1993 we have offered a special rate and program for all the island’s fifth grade classes. Sailing with their classmates for a week onboard our ships, these lucky 11-year-old children immerse themselves in a lifestyle and environment that children their age would have been well-versed in a century earlier. The perspective of Martha’s Vineyard fading behind them while cruising eastward on Nantucket Sound, or while on anchor within miles from their homes in nearby Tarpaulin Cove fosters an understanding of the natural gifts and resources available to them by living on this special island, which may not have been available otherwise. All island children should be afforded the opportunity to sail on these Tall Ships.
Each trip lasts 5.5 days: boarding Sunday evening from The Black Dog Wharf in Vineyard Haven, MA and returning the following Saturday and disembarking at Noon. The Black Dog Tall Ships office is located about 200 yards from the Vineyard Haven Steamship Authority terminal, making it extremely convenient to drop off and pick up your kids.
The Black Dog Tall Ships can serve as the ideal setting for any event you are planning. Our schooners have already been used for employee appreciation cruises, corporate team-building outings including the International Bar Association, as well as birthday celebrations, class reunions, multi-day trips for groups of family and friends and the filming of motion pictures. A sail on the Black Dog Tall Ships is unique, exciting and unforgettable.The Black Dog Tall Ships office is located on the Vineyard Haven waterfront next door to the world-famous . We are approximately 300’ away from the Vineyard Haven Steamship Authority terminal and local transportation – getting to our door could not be easier.Martha’s Vineyard is home to hundreds of weddings each season, and throughout the years the Black Dog Tall Ships have become more and more of an attraction for these most special of days. Beautiful beaches, land and seascapes welcome friends and family to the island setting as they have done for centuries while our schooners provide an unmatched setting for your rehearsal, family get-together or ceremony.Vineyard Haven, MA – A coastal storm passes through New England today and as I’m typing here at the Black Dog Tall Ships HQ wind and gusts from the SW are shaking the building, howling and blowing spray downwind across Vineyard Haven harbor… Shenandoah and Alabama are secure on their moorings. The New England fishing fleet is now dealing with 50knot+ winds offshore – a classic winter afternoon with ferry service to Woods Hole shut down…Captain Robert S. Douglas was a jet fighter pilot for the Air Force from 1956 to 58, retiring with the rank of Captain. He first became involved with boats summering and sailing on Martha’s Vineyard as a youth. In the early 1960s, he found himself working on the 83′ Harvey Gamage Shipyard-built windjammer Mary Day, and there hatched a plan to move to the Vineyard, build windjammer, and take passengers back to the days of tall ships and the life of sailing them. His dream came to fruition in the design and commissioning of the construction of Shenandoah in 1964. Based on an original 1850 design of the fast revenue cutter Joe Lane, with the change of line, balance, and sail he created a fast and efficient schooner. The addition of square topsails to the foremast made Shenandoah a truly unique vessel of power and a beauty to behold at sea or mooring. But now that he had his beautiful schooner, he had to have a place to admire her! Not soon thereafter, another schooner found its way to its way to Vineyard Haven. Upon her retirement from the Pilot service in Mobile, AL, Captain Douglas brought the Alabama home with the dream of one day returning her to the sailing form that her famous designer, Thomas MacManus had envisioned. Although it would take over thirty years for this to come about, the fleet that would become the Black Dog Tall Ships was formed.Vineyard Haven, MA – A coastal storm passes through New England today and as I’m typing here at the Black Dog Tall Ships HQ wind and gusts from the SW are shaking the building, howling and blowing spray downwind across Vineyard Haven harbor… Shenandoah and Alabama are secure on their moorings. The New England fishing fleet is now dealing with 50knot+ winds offshore – a classic winter afternoon with ferry service to Woods Hole shut down…