An exact replica of a 43m schooner has been launched in Panama City, Florida, ninety-one years after her predecessor.
Columbia’s original lines plans were discovered by Brian D’Isernia, owner of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., in the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Massachusetts, prompting him to build a modern version of the famous classic.
The new Columbia has a steel hull instead of the original wood, and an engine room and staterooms are also modern additions.
She will now undergo outfitting and begin her sailing trials, before being officially exhibited at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The original Columbia, a Gloucester Fishing Schooner designed by William Starling Burgess, was launched on April 17, 1923 by the A. D. Story shipyard in Massachusetts. She was a famous racing yacht in her day, taking on the legendary Canadian-built Bluenose in the International Fisherman’s Cup Race in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Narrowly missing out on a win, Columbia still attracted much attention as one of the few American schooners to ever mount a viable challenge. She foundered only four years later near Sable Island, or the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, during a gale.