This is a splendid example of a Howard Chapelle designed Pinky Schooner. Chapelle spent a lot of time and research effort on Pinky Schooners, which he considered to be one of the finest sea-going traditional crafts ever built. ‘Pleiades’ is based on Chapelle’s ‘Pinky Yacht’ design (as seen in his book American Sailing Craft), and it represents a slightly modified ‘Eastport Pinky’, well known for speed and weatherliness in all weathers and sea states.
These little schooners have a history in New England and Nova Scotia of well over 200 years, and the ‘Eastport’ version was the fastest and most capable of all. ‘Pleiades’, as an example of one of Chapelle’s favorite designs, is stoutly built, well-equipped, and in wonderful condition. ‘Pleiades’ is currently in the Charter trade in Puget Sound.
The Pinky has been around in New England waters in various forms since at least 1725! Earlier versions of the Pinky were referred to as ‘Chebacco Boats,’ which differed primarily from the later Pinky schooner by having no bowsprit or jib. By 1825, the classic Pinky schooner had been developed, and at first, these were quite ‘chunky’ craft, designed for mackerel and cod fishing along the coast as far out as the Grand Banks. In order to fish for mackerel, which generally swim in schools directly against the wind, a very weatherly and fast boat was required, and it was for these reasons the Pinky never ‘fell out of fashion’ for as long as such fishing was done under sail.
In their later versions, the Pinky became quite ‘yachty,’ with very sharp lines and an excellent speed, primarily because New England fishermen began a career of ‘poaching’ fish from Canadian waters, and therefore needed not only a good fishing boat but one which could make a very hasty escape as well when the Canadian fisheries authorities might arrive! It is this latter type that Howard Chapelle used as his model for his ‘yacht’ version, referred to by its first name ‘Glad Tidings.’ ‘Pleiades’ has been built to these lines, and is a splendid example of this famous schooner type!
We have been the caretakers of Pleiades for 12 years and she has hosted thousands of charter guests and taught many people how to sail a traditional gaff schooner rig, Pleiades has undergone a defined maintenance schedule each season and is in great shape