The Making of Privateer Lynx
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Written by Maritime Heritage


It's a rare day in the 21st century when a new privateer arrives in its home port. The recondstucted Lynx had such a day in October, 2001. Owner and builder Woodson Woods selected Portsmouth, NH because, he says, of its history as a privateering port -- and for its tax free status.





JUMP TO Lynx Today and Maiden Voyage

Privateer Lynx Names Portsmouth, NH as Home Port

The stunning $2.5 million ship now carries the Portsmouth name on its global journey. The age of privateering (1775 - 1815) was an exciting chapter in Seacoast NH history. Many of Portsmouth's best known families -- Ladd, Langdon, Whipple, Salter, Shaefe -- grew wealthy on the spoils of war. This income led to the peak of the local economy and created many of the historic houses standing today.

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Private ships, licensed by the US Congress, played havoc with the British in the Revolution and the War of 1812. Now those tales can come to life with the arrival of a new tall ship.

And this one's a keeper. Not only is the newly-built Privateer Lynx making its maiden voyaage to Portsmouth, but Lynx has officially named Portsmouth its home port. Launched July 28 in Rockport, Maine, the $2.5 million reconstruction typifies the sleek, efficient ships so familiar in the Piscataqua around 1812.

Designer Melbourne Smith (Pride of Baltimore, Niagra, Spirt of Massachusetts) is a well respected naval architect. Woodson K. Woods is executvie director of the company that made Lynx possible in record time. The ship, uperating under sail or modern diesel engine, carries a crew of 15. Early in 2002, two Portsmouth students will join the crew for a month-long sail training cruise to Panama.

The 2001 Lynx is an interpretation of two historical square topsail schooners classes as Baltimore Clippers. The ship is armed with four six-pinder cannons. Often compared to pirates, privateers were sanctioned as a private wing of the fledgling US Navy and overtook only ships from "belligerent nations." The government’s "Letters of Marquee" were a license to hunt, and crews and captain were paid from a percentage of the spoils taken. -- JDR

All pictures courtesy of Privateer Lynx, Woods Maritime.
Visit the Official Lynx web site







All pictures courtesy of Privateer Lynx, Woods Maritime.
Visit the Official Lynx web site