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. 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.
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
Making of Privateer Lynx
In Rockport under
construction in 2000
Carving the eagle
Arrival at launch site
Woodson K. Woods and
friend on launch day.
Launch in progress, July 2001, Rockport, ME
All pictures courtesy of Privateer Lynx, Woods Maritime.
the Official Lynx web
site (Press BACK to
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