Schooner Lois McClure

Read the Lois McClure Ship’s Logs via this Blog.

View the schooner’s Current tour schedule.

Schooner Lois McClure under sail in Burlington Bay. Photo courtesy Eric A. Bessette, Shadows and Light Design.

The schooner Lois McClure is a full-scale replica of an 1862-class sailing canal boat, constructed by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vermont and launched in 2004. She has done many tours along the interconnected waterways of New York, Vermont, and Quebec. Read about her travels in these archived Ships Logs.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s replica canal schooner Lois McClure is modeled after two 1862-class canal schooners sunk in Lake Champlain, the General Butler, and the OJ Walker. During their heyday, canal schooners were homeported on Lake Champlain but regularly plied the canals, rivers and lakes between New York City, Quebec City and Montreal. Launched in 2004, Lois McClure serves as a regional ambassador promoting the shared heritage of Quebecois, Vermonters and New Yorkers.

The schooner is named in honor of Lois McClure, who, along with her husband Mac, has been a major contributor to this and many other worthy community projects in the greater Burlington, Vermont area. 

Unlike the standard canal boats which had no independent propulsion, the Lake Champlain sailing canal boat was initially built as an experiment in the early nineteenth century to avoid the costly towing fees of the towing vessels on Lake Champlain and other open waterways. It caught on, and over 200 sailing canal boats were built in the 1800s, designed to be able to sail from distant lake ports to the canal on the power of the wind. Upon reaching the canal, the masts were lowered and centerboard raised and the now transformed vessel could directly enter the canal.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s schooner Lois McClure, is a full-scale working replica of a sailing canal boat, and travels on Lake Champlain, and to other ports-of-call throughout these interconnected waterways. Read more about the schooner Lois McClure’s mission and voyages or follow her current tour by reading the Ship’s Logs.

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4 Responses to Schooner Lois McClure

  1. Eliza Sparks says:

    Dear All aboard the Lois McClure –

    Thank you so much for this blog and for the extraordinary and wonderful tour of the schooner we enjoyed in July this year when she was at her home port in Basin Harbor.

    The ship’s log, your entries, comments, photographs and stories are a very welcome contrast to our usual online fare – an oasis from the frantic and all-too-often sensationally negative news of the day! Your efforts, along with those of the LCMM, bring to life a time that might be unfamiliar to us in our 21st C cocoons of technology and comfort, and yet the vitality of the past is such that it resonates down the centuries, striking chords in young and old alike. What you do is not mere nostalgia, but important practical archaeology and social history!

    We’ve just been ‘over the sea to Skye’ ourselves, ‘though t’was by carferry, which brought to mind:

    [i]An’ I loves the ships more every day
    Though I never was one to roam.
    Oh! the ships is comfortin’ sights to see,
    An’ they means a lot when they says to me –
    “Always somebody goin’ away,
    Somebody gettin’ home.” [/i]
    John Joy Bell (1871-1934)

    Slàinte mhòr!

    • Dear Eliza,

      Thank you for your kind words: we couldn’t agree more! We hope you’ll keep in touch with the crew of the Lois McClure by reading these blogs, and continue to stay connected with all the things we do at LCMM. See you out on the lake!

  2. Pingback: The Schooner Lois McClure Stopping in Clyde, NY

  3. feleDrieria says:

    Very Interesting!
    Thank You!

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