Spend an afternoon at the Museum! Pioneer tickets include free admission to the Museum’s exhibitions. Bring your ticket to the Museum before or after your sail! Please be sure to arrive with ample time before your sail if you wish to visit the museum before your trip.
In the days before paved roads, small coastal schooners such as Pioneer were the delivery trucks of their era, carrying various cargoes between coastal communities: lumber and stone from the islands of Maine, brick on the Hudson River, and oyster shell on the Chesapeake Bay. Almost all American cargo sloops and schooners were wood, but because she was built in what was then this country’s center of iron shipbuilding, Pioneer had wrought-iron hull. She was the first of only two cargo sloops built of iron in this country, and is the only iron-hulled American merchant sailing vessel still in existence.
By 1930, when new owners moved her from the Delaware River to Massachusetts, she had been fitted with an engine, and was no longer using sails. In 1966 she was substantially rebuilt and turned into a sailing vessel once again. Today she plies the waters of NY Harbor carrying adults and children instead of cargo in her current role as a piece of “living history.”
Today Pioneer is an award winning sail training vessel teaching volunteers of all kinds, traditional maritime skills, and the art of tall ship sailing. Visitors can board Pioneer for 2-hour day and evening cruises as she sails New York Harbor May through October. Pioneer offers special sails and programs and is available for private charter throughout her season.
Board the historic 1885 schooner and set sail past Governors Island for the fishing grounds of Bay Ridge. We’ll set a trawl net and participants will haul it in, bringing up a variety of creatures from blue crabs to flounder. Children and adults help raise the sails so we can continue our exploration the old fashioned way. While sailing past the Statue of Liberty we’ll learn about the sea creatures we caught, examine plankton through a view-scope, test the water to learn how animals live here, and learn about our marine ecosystem.