Maritime Monday for October 15th, 2012: Take Your Ass to School (Ships)

Monkey Fist
Total Views: 272
October 14, 2012


A jolly piece of artwork by Per Beckman for the 1955 Swedish Childrens Day


US postage stamp, 1953 issue, 3cents


Savannah, First Steam Atlantic Crossing 1944 Issue-3cents


Gwillhickers Philatelic Gallery


Cadets from the school ship Annapolis in Paris; 1924


Broadside View of Annapolis off San Francisco in 1912

school ship Annapolis – Laid down 18 April 1896; Elizabethport, NJ. Commissioned USS Annapolis, Gunboat No. 10, 20 July 1897 at New York.

Loaned to the Commissioners of Navigation, Port of Philadelphia, as a training vessel on 1 April 1920 for duty as the Pennsylvania State Nautical Schoolship. Struck from the Navy Register 30 June 1940. Transferred to the Coast Guard in 1941 for use as a Station Ship at New London, CT. Scrapped 31 August 1942.

USS Annapolis (PG-10) on wikipedia
USS Annapolis (PG-10) on Naval Warfare blog


The Annapolis was replaced in 1941 by the 33 year-old steam powered,
and famous in her own right, USCGC Seneca (1908)


Boys between sixteen and nineteen years, having the written consent of their parents or guardians, will be received on board the ship on the following conditions:

1. They must be of sound constitution, free from all physical defect…

2. They must show some aptitude or inclination for a life at sea…

A Short History of The Pennsylvania Nautical School and Pennsylvania Maritime Academy:
Independence Seaport Museum

W. R. Edwards, describing his first days aboard ship, wrote:

Tues 14 2PM We had our watches changed Sun and I have the 8 to 12 which is a honey & I feel great. This is a fact, I was not seasick & I think by now I have my sea legs. You can’t really tell till we hit a storm. It’s no cinch trying to drink jamoke when this thing is canted over at 25° or do anything else …”

Cruises were an important element in the training of cadets and were no doubt a draw for many young men eager to go to sea.

Training cruises included a crossing of the Atlantic, with visits to several ports in Europe, South America, and the West Indies. Students were instructed in “boxing the compass, knotting and splicing, the strapping of blocks, reefing and furling, heaving the lead, using the palm and needle, the handling of boats under oars and sails, swimming, etc.”


The school-ship USS Saratoga operated as a nautical training school from 1890 to 1908 when the 65 year-old vessel was replaced by the 32 year-old sail and steam-powered 1,400 ton USS Adams. The ships were operated jointly by the State of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia. (1304×1040 px)

USS Saratoga, a sloop-of-war, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for the Battle of Saratoga of the American Revolutionary War. Her keel was laid down in the summer of 1841 by the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 26 July 1842 and commissioned on 4 January 1843.

Served in American Civil War, performed African Slave Trade Patrol, during opening of Japan under Commodore Perry, during the Mexican–American War, and on the Ivory Coast Expedition of 1842.

more about the USS Saratoga on
The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships/Saratoga

USS Saratoga (1842) on wikipedia


USS Adams (1874)
photo circa 1905

Adams was built as a single screw, wooden-hull, bark-rigged steamer. The ship was laid down in February 1874 at Boston, Massachusetts, and was launched on 24 October 1874; commissioned 21 July 1876 at the Boston Navy Yard. Broken up 1921-22.

service history on wikipedia

Turned over to Pennsylvania on 20 August 1908, Adams served as school ship for the Public Marine School at Philadelphia until returned to Navy custody on 6 February 1914. On 1 May 1914, she was loaned to the State of New Jersey to be used in training that state’s naval militia.

The warship continued to train New Jersey naval militiamen until after the United States entered World War I in April 1917. Recommissioned on 27 August 1917, Adams served as station ship in the Delaware River through the end of the war until decommissioned on 5 August 1919.


School-Ship USS Sabine

The first USS Sabine was a sailing frigate built by the United States Navy in 1855. Source: Harper’s Encyclopedia of United States History (vol. 6, 1912)

The Sabine was among the first ships to see action in the American Civil War. She was built at the New York Navy Yard. Her keel was laid in 1822, but she was not launched until 3 February 1855; commissioned on 23 August 1858.

Ordered in August 1864 to Norfolk, Virginia as a training ship for Navy apprentices and landsmen. After the war, she was transferred to New London, Connecticut for the same purpose until 1868. In 1871 Sabine was repaired at Boston; and, from 1872 to 1876, she served as a receiving ship at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In 1877, she was laid up until she was sold on 23 September 1883 at Portsmouth to J.L. Snow of Rockland, Maine.


USS Sabine: service history and photos on wikipedia


CSS Patrick Henry
Wash drawing by Clary Ray, circa 1898

CSS Patrick Henry was built in New York City in 1859 by the renowned William H. Webb for the Old Dominion Steam Ship Line as the civilian steamer Yorktown, a brigantine-rigged side-wheel steamer.

She carried passengers and freight between Richmond, Virginia and New York City, and was anchored in the James River when Virginia seceded from the Union on 17 April 1861. She was seized and later turned over to the Confederate Navy on 8 June 1861.

Patrick Henry was designated an academy ship in May 1862 and underwent appropriate alterations. In October 1863, she housed the floating Confederate States Naval Academy at Drewry’s Bluff, where instruction for 52 midshipmen began. Numbers later increased to sixty, with thirteen teachers in attendance. When Richmond was evacuated on 3 April 1865, Patrick Henry was burned to prevent capture.

service history and more on wikipedia
CSS Patrick Henry on Naval Historical Center –


NYC Public Charities & Correction’s school-ship Mercury
based at Hart Island circa 1869-76 (click to see full size)


School between decks, school ship Mercury
The Picture Collection of the New York Public Library

Reformatory Morphed into Industrial School w/ Ship;
Ancestor of SUNY Maritime College?

on Corrections History


school ship General Baquedano, launched in 1898 (Chile)


General Baquedano

see also / and


General Baquedano
(Chilean Training Ship, 1899)

Manning her yards while moored at Valparaiso, Chile, in mid-February 1908, when the U.S. “Great White Fleet” steamed past the city. General Baquedano is dressed with flags and has Chilean President Pedro Montt embarked. -U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph (more)


Crew of Chilean training ship

In 1931, the vessel was considered obsolete as a fighting ship, but very useful as a training vessel. In naval categories, GENERAL BAQUEDANO is known as a corvette (in Spanish corbeta), which is defined as a flush-decked ship with one tier of guns, a type replaced by the modern cruiser. Fully-rigged, the vessel was fitted with triple-expansion engines as auxiliary, and had a displacement of 2,330 tons. more

GENERAL BAQUEDANO visits Sydney set on Flickr


NRP Sagres III
school ship of the Portuguese Navy since 1961

Following a number of international training voyages, the ship was used as a stationary office ship after the outbreak of World War II and was only put into ocean-going service again in 1944 in the Baltic Sea. On 14 November 1944 she hit a Soviet mine off Sassnitz and had to be towed to port in Swinemünde. Eventually transferred to Flensburg, she was taken over there by the Allies when the war ended and finally confiscated by the United States.

In 1948, the U.S. sold her to Brazil for a symbolic price of $5,000 USD.[1] She was towed to Rio de Janeiro, and for Brazil she sailed as a school ship for the Brazilian Navy under the name Guanabara. In 1961, the Portuguese Navy bought her to replace the old school ship Sagres II (which was transferred to Hamburg, where she is a museum ship under her original name Rickmer Rickmers). The Portuguese Navy renamed her Sagres (the third ship of that name), and she is still in service.

more on wiki


NPR Sagres III
detail featuring Prince Henry the Navigator


painting by Charles Vickery

Joseph Conrad is an iron-hulled sailing ship, originally launched as Georg Stage in 1882 and used to train sailors in Denmark. After sailing around the world as a private yacht in 1934 she served as a training ship in the United States, and is now a museum ship at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.

cadet ship Joseph Conrad on wikipedia


Joseph Conrad
detail photos and more


detail; iron hull of Joseph Conrad (see larger)
Pyro plastic model: Joseph Conrad Cadet School Ship


Nautical School Ship (NSS) Sobraon

The ships Vernon (est. 1867) and Sobraon (est. 1892) were Industrial Schools for Boys. Boys received a combination of moral training, nautical and industrial training and instruction, and elementary schooling. The ships were made use of this way as there were no separate boys’ reformatory schools until 1895.

The Vernon was docked at Cockatoo Island. The Sobraon, which replaced the Vernon in 1892, was used until 1911, when the remaining boys were set to the Mittagong Farm Home for Boys and the Brush Farm Home for Boys.

The Industrial Schools Act of 1866 authorised the Governor to proclaim “any ship or vessel or any building or place together with any yards, enclosures grounds or lands attached thereto to be a ‘Public Industrial School’ “. Any vagrant or destitute child under the age of sixteen could be directed by two Justices of the Peace to attend an Industrial School and to remain the responsibility of the Superintendent until the age of eighteen, unless apprenticed out or discharged.

State Records New South Wales (892 x 759)


Sleeping in hammocks aboard Sobraon
(897 x 762)


On deck aboard the Sobraon
(893 x 761)


NY State Nautical School Annual Banquet; Aboard the SS St. Mary’s

St. Mary’s was a US Navy sloop-of-war built in 1843-44 at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., and commissioned in the fall of 1844.

On 3 June 1873, St. Mary’s returned to Norfolk where she remained until 1875. Then transferred to the New York Nautical School at New York (now the SUNY Maritime College) she served as a school ship until 1908. In June of that year, she was ordered sold.

Despite efforts of alumni to preserve the ship they could not come up with the funding. Two months later, she was purchased by Thomas Butler and Company, Boston, Massachusetts; and in November, she was scrapped.

USS St. Mary’s (1844) on wikipedia


By a Young Tar

full text on Project Gutenberg

The following sprightly account of life on the school-ship St. Mary’s was written for Harper’s Young People by one of the recent graduates. We give the portraits of three of the four boys who recently graduated with the highest honors.

“The New York Nautical School on board the ship St. Mary’s must not be confounded with the school-ship Mercury, which formerly existed at this port; the latter was a floating reformatory, while the former was established for the purpose of training American boys to officer and man our merchant ships…”


USN Wolverine (ex Michigan) in the Detroit River
orig 1600×1023

“Wolverine Training Ship: used by the Navy in recruiting and training, and plies the Lakes and Detroit River, being stationed at Detroit most of the time.”

USS Michigan was the United States Navy’s first iron-hulled warship and served during the American Civil War. She was renamed USS Wolverine in 1905. The Michigan operated on the Great Lakes out of Erie, Pennsylvania, throughout her career.

Wolverine was turned over to the Pennsylvania Naval Militia, which she served for 11 years, making training cruises in the summer for the United States Naval Reserve. For the 1913 centennial of the War of 1812 Battle of Lake Erie, Wolverine towed the brig USS Niagara from port to port as part of the celebrations. In mid-1920, when the U.S. Navy adopted its modern alphanumeric hull number system, she was classified as a “miscellaneous auxiliary” and designated IX-31.

On 12 August 1923, a connecting rod of Wolverine’s port cylinder broke, ending her active career. In 1927, her hulk was pushed up onto a sandbank in Misery Bay on the Presque Isle State Park Peninsula and loaned to the city of Erie, Pennsylvania, as a relic. She was sold to the Foundation for the Preservation of the Original USS Michigan, Inc., on 19 July 1948. When fund-raising efforts failed to acquire sufficient money for her restoration and preservation, she was cut up and sold for scrap in 1949.



USS Wolverine (formerly USS Michigan)
oldest iron gun boat in the world, built in 1843″

Iron side-wheeler USS Michigan (1843), as USS Wolverine
(IX-31) late in her life. 1631 × 1044

The Valmy, by then renamed Borda, serving as a school ship (France)

Valmy, named after the Battle of Valmy, was the largest three-decker of the French Navy, and the largest tall ship ever built in France. Laid down at Brest in 1838, launched in 1847. When she entered service in 1849, she was the largest warship in the world and would remain so until 1853. She was engaged in the Crimean War, where she proved difficult to manoeuvre and, like other sailing vessels, often had to be towed by steam ships.

She returned to Brest in 1855, where she was disarmed. She was used as a school ship for the French Naval Academy from 1864 under the name Borda. She took back her old name of Intrépide one year before being stricken from the navy list in 1891. She was scrapped soon afterwards.


French school ship Algésiras (1855)
image full sizesee also

The Algésiras was a 90-gun steam ship of the line of the French Navy. In 1859, she took part in the blockade of Venice and various operations in the Mediterranean, decommissioned in 1865 and used as a transport, then later as a school ship. On 25 November 1906, she was destroyed in Toulon by an accidental fire.


USS Boxer Signal School, Early 1900s


USS Boxer (IV)

USS Boxer (1905) was a training brigantine commissioned 11 May 1905. Initially assigned to duty Naval Training Station, Newport, R.I. to train landsmen and apprentices. Reassigned, 20 October 1912 to the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. 25 June 1914, to Naval Training Station, Newport, R.I. Decommissioned, 14 May 1920, and transferred to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education in Alaska.

more photos on NavSource Old Navy Ship Photo Archive


c. 1932 – Boston Navy Yard Training ship Nantucket at Charlestown
for a spring cleaning to get ready for trip around the world again this year


Graduation Certificate: Massachusetts Nautical School
with service aboard the School Ship USS Nantucket

The USS Nantucket was an iron gunboat, barkentine rigged, laid down in 1873; launched in 1876 by Harlan and Hollingsworth, Wilmington, DE, originally commissioned as USS Ranger (IV) at League Island Naval Shipyard, Philadelphia, PA, 27 November 1876. For a more complete history, see here.


September 7, 1923 – Massachusetts Nautical School: Sailors & shipboard pets
on Shorpy (see full size)


Annapolis, Maryland
U.S. Naval Academy cadets. Graduating class of 1894
on Shorpy – 2600×2014


St. Petersburg, Russia:
Nautical school cadets take the oath aboard the museum ship Aurora

Notable training ships on wikipedia


Victory navy cadets, Portsmouth

Adventures of the Blackgang on tumblr — (twitter)

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