rover schooners

 Welcome to Rover Schooners...

 ... the official home of Merritt Walter designed working schooners. We have a tab "Other Vessels" for vessels of Merritt's design including private yachts.

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Last updated: Sunday, 19 January, 2014

... honorably working for a living ...

 

For Sale: a George Sutton designed steel schooner. Take a look!

 

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Alaskan Rover (ex Gypsy Rover, ex Blue Moon) Alaskan Rover

The Alaskan Rover is from the Merry Rover design.  She sails under the flag of Sailing, Inc. of Seward, Alaska.  During the summer season she sails on three hour tours to Resurrection Bay.

 

LOA 54' 0"
LOD 44' 0"
LWL 32' 6"
Beam 12' 6"
Draft 4' 6"
Displacement 30,460 lbs.
Sail Area 801 ft2
Passenger capacity  
 
 

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American Rover american rover

American Rover was built by Marine Engineers of Panama City, FL, for Rover Marine and put in service the spring of 1986, at that time she was one of only two schooners certified to carry 150 passengers under full sail and to sail after sunset.  She was the largest three masted topsail passenger schooner under U.S. flag.  She sets sail daily from the WATERSIDE in Downtown Norfolk, Virginia.

Cover photo for AAA, Today, Tidewater Street Map, Real Estate Digest, PORTFOLIO magazine, Norfolk Visitor's Guide.

LOA 135' 0"
LOD 98' 0"
LWL 70' 0"
Beam 24' 0"
Draft 9' 0"
Displacement 105 tons
Sail Area 5000 ft2
Passenger capacity 149 day
 
 

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Anvil Coveanvil cove

Anvil Cove is certified by the Canadian Coast Guard to carry overnight passengers on multi-day adventure tours into the waters of Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia, Canada.  She is owned by Keith and Barb Roswell. She is of the Bonny Rover design.

LOA 60' 0"
LOD 53' 0"
LWL 40' 0"
Beam 14' 8"
Draft 5' 9"
Displacement 52,000 lbs
Sail Area 1531 ft2 designed
Passenger capacity 8 overnight

 
 

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Blackbeard IIblackbeard2(ex Flying Eagle)

The big sister of Blackbeard, the Blackbeard II was last known to sail on day trips from A. J. Restaurant in Destin Harbor, Florida. She was one of the many schooners built by Willis A. Ray's yard, known as W.A.R. Ships in Panama City, Florida. Blackbeard II is of the Bonny Rover design.

 

LOA 66' 0"
LOD 53' 0"
LWL 40' 0"
Beam 15' 0"
Draft 5' 8"
Displacement 50,000 lbs
Sail Area 1531 ft2
Passenger capacity 40 day

 

 
 

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Bones   bones(ex Eagle)

Bones, based on the Bonny Rover design, was built under the supervision of Dan Hlowick for a prominent orthopedic surgeon from Cleveland, Ohio.  She was sent to the US Virgin Islands in the charter trade and was later sold to a Florida concern.  There she plied the trade until 2005 when she was bought by a charter company and re-outfitted for service back in the US Virgin Islands.  Bones is currently in St. Thomas  with her new owner, Martyn.

LOA 68' 0"
LOD 53' 0"
LWL 40' 0"
Beam 14' 6"
Draft 5' 6"
Displacement 49,000 lbs
Sail Area 1,883 ft 2
Passenger capacity  

 
 

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Bonnie Lynnbonny_lynn

Earl MacKenzie and his wife, Bonnie, own the Bonnie Lynn. They have the ideal life, can be seen chartering summers in Maine and winters in the Virgin Islands.  Their boat is finished to a high degree of yacht finish.  August 2000 issue of Cruising World featured the Bonnie Lynn under a heading of Great Boat.  She was built by Treworgy Yachts of St. Augustine, Florida and finished off under the supervision of Earl. She is the Trade Rover design.

 

Cover photo for Latitudes and Attitudes, feature article in SAIL Magazine 2002

LOA 69' 0"
LOD 57' 0"
LWL 48' 0"
Beam 15' 3"
Draft 5' 0"
Displacement 69,000 lbs
Sail Area 1285 ft2
Passenger capacity 36 day / 8 overnight

 
 

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Buccaneer (ex. Shana Renet)buccaneer

The Buccanner is a modified version of the Bonny Rover design. Built in 1987 by Richard Fox and his son, Rick Fox. In 2007, Dan Catalino bought, finished, and launched the Buccaneer. She is headed for the west coast of Costa Rica

LOA 65' 0 "
LOD 52' 0 "
LWL  
Beam 14' 0"
Draft 7' 3 "
Displacement  
Sail Area  
Passenger capacity 49 day

 

 
 

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Capt Kiddcaptain kidd

Captain Joe Stump had the Capt Kidd built by A&M Manufacturing of Oldtown, Florida for the day sailing trade.  She is operated by Tropical Express Charters, Kemah, Texas.

Capt Kidd opened on the cover of the Texas highways magazine.

LOA 55' 0"
LOD 44' 0"
LWL 32' 6"
Beam 12' 6"
Draft 4' 6"
Displacement 30,000 lbs
Sail Area 800 ft2
Passenger capacity 28 day

 

 
 

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Coast Rovercoast rover

Merritt was privileged to be captain of a little ship plying the Pacific.  He enjoyed passing the day leaning on the teak cap rail of her bridge wing, just like the one on the Coast Rover.  The commission for designing her came from and east coast salvage company owner who wanted a boat to live on, capable of earning her own keep.

LOA 51' 7"
LOD 51' 7"
LWL 48' 0"
Beam 15' 3"
Draft 5' 6"
Displacement 68,000 lbs
Sail Area 750 ft2
Passenger capacity Six-Pac

 

 
 

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Conch Pearl (ex Distant Dawn, ex Star Rover)conch pearl

Built in 1988 by Treworgy Yachts, owners Denny Webb and Holley Whitley runs charters for the Boy Scouts in the Florida Keys on multi day adventures.

 

LOA 71' 0"
LOD 57' 0"
LWL 48' 0"
Beam 15' 6"
Draft 6' 0"
Displacement 75,000 lbs
Sail Area 1300 ft2
Passenger capacity 12 overnight, 37 day

 

 

 
 

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Downeast Rover (ex Bonny Jean Rover)downeast rover

Downeast Rover was built as a yacht by Rover Marine Yachts, in Norfolk, Virginia for Merritt Walter.  After seven years of great sailing along the east coast and the Bahamas under the name of Bonny Jean Rover, she was sold and entered the day sailing trade, first at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and then out of Manteo, NC, where you can find her still sailing daily.

Amongst her claims to fame, the Downeast Rover appeared as the luxury schooner belonging to a bank robber in an episode of Matlock called "The Heist".

Cover photo for NC Coastal Boating Guide, Cape Fear Leisure.

 

LOA 58' 0"
LOD 44' 0"
LWL 33' 0"
Beam 14' 0"
Draft 6' 6"
Displacement 33,000 lbs
Sail Area ft2
Passenger capacity 30 day

 

 
 

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Freedom (ex Island Rover, ex Norfolk Rover)freedom

 

Norfolk Rover was built by Rover Marine Inc in Norfolk, Virginia for the day sailing trade.  She was the first sailing tour boat to be certificated under sub-chapter 'T' to carry passengers for hire since the great days of sail.

Cover photo for St. Augustine Travel Planner.

LOA 76' 0"
LOD 63' 0"
LWL 48' 6"
Beam 15' 4"
Draft 5' 6"
Displacement 65,669 lbs
Sail Area 1522 ft2
Passenger capacity  

 

 
 

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Great Atlanticgreat atlantic rover

 

The Great Atlantic Rover was designed for Rover Marine Lines, Inc. to be a day sailing "boat and breakfast". The design called for ten double staterooms for overnight guests and 149 day passengers. The extreme shallow draft of 6' 8" would allow her to operate in protected shallow waters and was originally planned for the Corpus Christi, Texas area. The staysail rig on four masts would require fewer crew than if she were all gaffs. After receiving plan approval from the Coast Guard the project was abandoned for the 1920 steamer style motor vessel Bonny Blue. Sure wish the Great Atlantic were sialing these days.

LOA 149' 6"
LOD 124' 0"
LWL  
Beam 24' 0"
Draft 6' 8"
Displacement 114 tons
Sail Area 3790 ft2 on fore and aft only
Passenger capacity 149 day / 20 overnight

 

 
 

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Heritage of Miami (ex Virginia Rover)heritage of miami

Heritage of Miami, built by Marine Metals, Norfolk, Virginia, spent her first season sailing day trips from Hampton, Virginia, under the name of Virginia Rover, then sold in 1988 to work from Miami, Florida, on Biscayne Bay.  Summers are spent sailing scouts in the Keys.

 

Cover photo for Scouting Magazine, Florida Rural Electric News.

LOA 85' 0"
LOD 65' 0"
LWL  
Beam 16' 0"
Draft 6' 0"
Displacement 77,000 lbs
Sail Area ft2
Passenger capacity 49 day / 22 overnight

 

 
 

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Island Roverisland rover

The last known use of the Island Rover was a floating machine shop, plying the Caribbean.  

LOA  
LOD  
LWL  
Beam  
Draft  
Displacement  
Sail Area ft2
Passenger capacity  

 

 
 

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Jeanie B jeanie b (ex Jennifer Marie)

Docked in Beaufort and owned by East Carolina University biology professor Lee Sutton of Greenville, NC, the Jeanie B is a Trade Rover design.

Jeanie B began life as the Jennifer Marie. Claude Charest (owner and builder) began building the Jennifer Marie in 1980 in Plattsburgh, NY. She was then Coast Guard licensed in 1984. Claude and his wife began day chartering the vessel first on Lake Champlain, and later on Biscayne Bay, FL. In 1987 the Jennifer Marie mada a Panama Canl transit to the Galapgos Islands. Then in 1988 she began sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to the Bahamas on 8-day eco-tourism trips...until she was sold in 2001.

LOA 70' 0"
LOD 57' 0"
LWL 48' 0"
Beam 15' 4"
Draft 5' 6"
Displacement 37 ton
Sail Area 1200 ft2
Passenger capacity 15 Ocean, 36 Coastwise

 

 
 

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John Pikejohn pike

 

The John Pike, owned by John Crane, was launched in the spring of 1986 for service in the San Juan Islands under the banner of Windjammers Northwest.  She is of the Bonny Rover class.  Current owner and service is unknown.

LOA 64' 8"
LOD 52' 8"
LWL 40' 0"
Beam 14' 8"
Draft 5' 6"
Displacement 49,300 lbs.
Sail Area 1,531 ft2
Passenger capacity unknown

 

 
 

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Jolly II Roverjolly 2 rover

Jolly II Rover, sister ship to the Jolly Rover (now the Spirit of Buffalo), was built by Bock Marine of Beaufort, North Carolina for Capt. Ward Walter of Rover Marine Lines.  She has seen a varied service, from Lewis, Delaware, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Philadelphia PA, and New Orleans, LA.  Currently she is sailing boy scouts out of their Sea Base in the Keys and day sailing from Key West.

LOA 73' 0"
LOD 65' 0"
LWL  
Beam 16' 6"
Draft 5' 9"
Displacement 68,000 lbs
Sail Area ft2
Passenger capacity 49 day / 20 overnight

 

 
 

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Nathaniel Bowditch (ex. Blackbeard)

nathaniel bowditch

Captain Rex Walley, owner/operator of the Nathaniel Bowditch, daysails out of Harborwalk Village in Destin, Florida.

She was built by Willis A. Ray - W.A.R. Ships, of Panama City, Florida in 1983, but not put into service until 1992 as the Blackbeard.

The vessel was laid out for day-sail work, cushioned seating on deck, large fore cabin to shelter all passengers, as well as an aft cabin for captain and crew. Below deck the vessel is lined with shiplap ash and trimmed with mahogony. The deck features generous use of teak (helm station, hatches, pin rails and pulpit).

Achievments include maximum speed achieved under sail 10.4 kts. (GPS confirmed log reading), and on another occasion, withstanding fifteen minutes in a squall of winds recorded at 81 mph (71 kts.) under full sail, very exciting!

LOA 54' 0"
LOD 44' 0"
LWL 35' 0"
Beam 13' 6"
Draft 6' 0"
Displacement 38,000 lbs.
Sail Area 1050 ft2
Passenger capacity 22

 

 
 

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Norfolk Rebel

norfolk rebel

The Norfolk Rebel was Merritt's most unusual design commission. 

The first Coast Rover was launched on National Maritime Day, 27 May 1980 in Norfolk.  Mayor Thomas was the guest speaker.  His wife christened the vessel the "Norfolk Rebel" as Captain Jacques Cousteau's wife looked on.  The design is important because she is the only vessel to receive a federal grant for sail power.

LOA 51' 7"
LOD 51' 7"
LWL 48' 0"
Beam 15' 3"
Draft 5' 6"
Displacement 68,000 lbs
Sail Area 750 ft2
Passenger capacity Six-Pac

 

 
 

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Patricia Devinepatricia devine

 

LOA 70' 0"
LOD  
LWL  
Beam  
Draft  
Displacement  
Sail Area ft2
Passenger capacity 25 day / 6 overnight

 

 
 

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Pirates Lady (ex Phoenix)

pirates lady

Built in 1984, the Phoenix, was owned by Coastal Ecology Learning Program, a non-profit educational corporation providing ship-board marine environmental education programs to the students of the area as well as sail training.

In 2008 the Phoenix was bought by her new owners, Cpts. Skip and Debbie Bradshaw and renamed Pirates Lady.

She is a Trade Rover design carrying passengers on evening sunset sails from her dock in Marathon, FL. During the summer months she plys the boy scout trade, sailing fro the BSA Florida Sea Base High Adventures Sea Exploring program.
 

LOA 71' 0"
LOD 56' 0"
LWL 53' 0"
Beam 16' 0"
Draft 6' 0"
Displacement 40 tons
Sail Area 1600 ft2
Passenger capacity 30 day

 

 
 

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Silent Ladysilent lady

 

The schooner Silent Lady is one of many Rover designs built by Willis A. Ray's company, W.A.R. Ships, in Panama City, Florida.  Skip Price, her original owner, sailed her the world over carrying day trippers in the far off Cook Islands, South Pacific to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  Allen Laird now owns her and day trips from AJ's Restaurant in Destine, Florida.

LOA 64' 0"
LOD 52' 0"
LWL  
Beam 14' 9"
Draft  
Displacement  
Sail Area ft2
Passenger capacity  

 

 
 

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Spirit of Buffalospirit of buffalo

 

Spirit of Buffalo (ex Jolly Rover) was built by Rover Marine Lines in Norfolk, Virginia. She sailed herfirstfive seasons in the day sailing trade out ofLewis, Delaware, then transferred to Georgetown, South Carolina in 1997 where she sailed on the Winyah Bay.

In late fall of 2008 she was purchased by Buffalo Sailing Adventures and was brought from South Carolina to Baltimore. The winter was spent preparing here for her transit up the Hudson and through the Erie Canal to her new home, Buffalo. She arrived in Buffalo during the first week of May 2009.

LOA 73' 0"
LOD 65' 0"
LWL  
Beam 16' 0 "
Draft 5' 11"
Displacement 68,000 lbs
Sail Area ft2
Passenger capacity 48

 

 
 

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Wolfwolf

Captain Finbar, had the Wolf built by W.A.R. Ships, Panama City, Florida.  She sailed one season for Rover Marines Inc, Norfolk, Virginia then down to Key West, Florida as the flag ship of the Conch Republic where she sails daily, to the delight of so many.

LOA 74' 0"
LOD 63' 0
LWL 49' 0"
Beam 16' 0"
Draft 6' 6"
Displacement 35 tons
Sail Area 2,500 ft2
Passenger capacity 44 day

 

 
 

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Yankeeyankee

Yankee is one of the Seattle Rover designs from which several have been built.  Dan Hlowick was her builder in 1982 at Atlantic City, New Jersey, for his own use as a 49 passenger day sailer.  For several years she sailed from Cape May, New Jersey, in the summers and Ocean Reef Club, south of Miami, Florida, in the winters. 

And now Yankee is sailing out of Miami Beach, Florida with a new owner, John Watson, and a new web site.

The Yankee has appeared on the cover of Florida Rural Electric magazine.

LOA 80' 0"
LOD 62' 0"
LWL  
Beam 16' 0"
Draft 6' 6"
Displacement 80,000 lbs
Sail Area ft2
Passenger capacity 46 day