Robert Bent of Scarborough told members of Sea Scout Ship #12 at a recent meeting that the ship Sea Squall, built in Portland, represents the only remaining vestiges of any of the historic clipper ships.

Bent spoke to the Scouts about the effort by the Portland Harbor Museum to restore parts of the Snow Squall. The ship had gone aground on Cape Horn in 1864, was later beached in the Falkland Islands, and eventually stripped for its valuable wood. The remaining bow pieces were brought to Portland in 1987, restoration was done where possible and some pieces of this famous ship now reside at the Portland Harbor Museum, some at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, and some in New York and San Francisco.

Bent, a museum volunteer, said the ship was 157 feet long, had a beam of 32 feet and a crew of 18 to 20. It was launched in Portland in 1864 and carried valuable cargo to and from China, the Spice Islands, London and New York. The clipper ships were built for speed to avoid pirates but were limited in cargo space.

Sea Scouts are open to males and females ages 14 to 21. The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club sponsors the local ship. The Scout’s leader is “Skipper” Steve Birmingham of Cape Elizabeth, who can be contacted at 799-9067.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.