Sail New York Harbor | Schooner Pioneer

1885 Schooner Pioneer


Pioneer Season Update

Pioneer sails have been paused until the end of the 2019 season while we perform some necessary maintenance.  Stay tuned here and follow us on social media for Pioneer news and updates. But don’t worry, there are still great opportunities to get out on the water this season! By popular demand we have added additional sails on W.O. Decker, the last-remaining New York-built wooden tugboat and the only tugboat the public can ride in New York Harbor.

W.O. Decker’s Cruise Schedule

Beginning Saturday, August 3 through Sunday, September 1:

Wednesday-Friday: 2pm, 7pm

Saturday & Sunday: 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm, 7pm

Click the button to learn more about Decker and book your cruise


About Schooner Pioneer

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.