Ever dreamed of owning your own Grand Banks schooner?
A Damariscotta bank is offering something different than you’d expect: the 137-foot former yacht ROSEWAY. First National Bank doesn’t name its price, but it foreclosed on a $215,000 loan to a previous owner.
The wooden schooner’s brightwork still shines, and she retains her graceful lines. Built in 1925 by the James shipyard at Essex, Massachusetts, ROSEWAY was first a yacht, then much later, a Boston Harbor pilot boat minus her masts. She was up for grabs in 1974, and was purchased by two Maine windjammer captains, Jim Sharp of Camden and Orvil Young of Lincolnville. They sailed her from Camden for the next 14 years, then sold her to George Sloane, the owner who defaulted on the loan. He also failed to make Coast Guard required repairs, which led U.S. marshals to seize the vessel in the summer of 2001, towing it to a Rockland, Maine berth where she has remained.
The bank recently tried auctioning ROSEWAY, but the highest bid of $40,000 didn’t interest bankers. Two other bids were $4,500 and $1,000. Since the auction, there have been a few inquiries but no solid offers. A spokeswoman said the bank might consider turning ROSEWAY over to a nonprofit group.
Word along the Rockland waterfront is that the gaff-rigged schooner has been neglected and now requires some pretty major reconstruction – as in bring along a half-million dollars. ROSEWAY last sailed in the commercial passenger business during the summer of 2000. ROSEWAY is a federally-donated National Historic Landmark.
Anyone wishing to further discuss disposition of this old Massachusetts-born vessel can call Charlie Wootten at First National Bank, 1-800-564-3195.
— Steve Cartwright