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The Cruise of Privateer Lynx


Although Portsmouth is technically her home, Portsmouth has not seen the Privateer Lynx in years. Launched in Maine in 2001, the replica of a local privateering ship cruises the waters of the world. We received a few photos from the designer recently (read on)





Jump to Lynx in Portsmouth

Letter from Melbourne Smith

Melbourne Smith, designer of the Pirvateer Lynx, sent us the following pictures in a recent email. They show the Lynx, built at Maine in 2001, cutting through the waves in San Francisco Bay in the spring of 2008. We haven’t been aboard the Lynx since she was here in 2001, after naming Portsmouth, NH as her home port. Now she has carried the name of New Hampshire’s only seaport to the other end of the nation.


click on the picture at the right for autographed copies


In honor of that accomplishment, we have again posted the pictures from the 2001 visit below. And we set up a special page recapping the making of the Privateer Lynx. (Click here).

Astute readers may recall that Portsmouth dreamed of rebuilding the frigate RANGER, first built on the Piscataqua in 1777 and taken to England by John Paul Jones. The replica was never built. Or should we say – has not happened yet? During that hopeful time, Melbourne Smith visited the Port City and we toured him through the John Paul Jones House Museum. That story too has been reprinted for your reading pleasure (click here). -- JDR

JUMP TO LYNX official web site








The Maiden Voyage of Privateer Lynx
October 2001
Portsmouth, NH

READ: The Making of a Modern Privateer

The Lynx arrives in Portsmouth, NH for its maiden voyage from Rockport, ME after a glorious sail parade from the mouth of the Piscataqua River. In opening ceremonies, the mayor issued Lynx a letter of marquee allowing its captain to board any ship that was an enemy to Portsmouth. A group of UNH shanty singers performed maritime tunes. The following day the ship was opened to its first tour audience. Over 500 visitors boarded Lynx in its first of two tour days in port. The wandered every inch of the brand new ship.

Trained crew members dressed in period costume explained how privateering ships overwhelmed their prey by challenging, boarding and capturing enemy merchant ships. Usually their victims did not even put up a fight. Privateering vessels were authorized by the US Congress from 1796 to 1815 to act as a private navy in defense of Portsmouth and other seaport towns.

Lynx owner/builder Woodson Woods shouted a "hello" to Woods raised the $2.5 million required to build the tall ship. "Woody" told us that he selected Portsmouth as home port, in part, because of the city's important connection to privateering -- and because of NH's tax free status .

Then the Lynx was off to defend the nation as an ambassador for freedom and against tyranny, Lynx left Portsmouth for a sail treaining journey to the Carribbean, the Panama Canal and up the West Coast of the USA. -- JDR







Photos by J. Dennis Robinson for
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