The schooner Suva is owned by the Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation (CMHF) and has been since the first part of May 2015. The CMHF is her sixth owner. She is manned totally by volunteers: crew, captains, docents and maintenance.
Suva was built by shipbuilder Quan Lee in Hong Kong in 1925 for Frank Pratt, a Massachusetts lawyer who moved to Whidbey Island in 1908. From 1925 to 1940, she was anchored in Penn Cove.
Pratt commissioned Ted Geary, a prominent naval architect in Seattle to design a vessel for Puget Sound waters for corporate and private entertaining. Suva was built almost entirely of old growth Burmese teak. After being built in 1925, she was then shipped to British Columbia where her spars were stepped. She was originally designed as a gaff-rigged schooner. Suva’s spars are Sitka Spruce.
In 1960, Suva had a major refit and was re-rigged to a staysail schooner. The original Lawson-Scott gas engine was replaced by a 140-horsepower diesel Detroit 453. The 453 is a two-cycle, four-cylinder engine, 212 cubic inches.
Pratt sailed the schooner for 15 years before gifting it to friend Dietrich Schmidt (for one dollar) and later his son Allen Schmidt, who owned the boat for 40 years combined.
Suva then went to Bill Brandt of Olympia for about 25 years before returning to the North Sound to Port Townsend owner Scott Flickinger. Lloyd Baldwin, whom CMHF purchased her from, bought the boat in 2009.
The Suva has always been kept in Puget Sound waters.