Nov 012014

Halloween has come and gone, but Salem does not roll up the sidewalks. We move on to the next big event, which in the case of this weekend, harkens not to our “witchy” past, but our maritime history. Salem’s first annual Downrigging Weekend is set for November 1 & 2.

The Essex county sailing community marks the end of the sailing season with this two-day event. And you benefit!!! Half-price public sails on the schooners Thomas Lannon, Ardelle, and Fame and downrigging demonstrations aboard Friendship are just some of the elements of this festival.

  • The Thomas Lannon is a beautiful representation of a turn-of-the-century Gloucester fishing schooner.
  • The Ardelle is a representation of the handsome and seaworthy pinky schooners that dominated the fisheries in the 1820-1840 period.
  • The Fame is a representation of the Salem privateer that captured the first prizes of the War of 1812.

Downrig_Flyerabc_1Inspired by the Sultana Downrigging Weekend, the Salem Downrigging Weekend is a celebration of not only the end of the sailing season, but also a tip of the sailor’s cap to maritime culture, wooded boats and the sailing heritage of the Essex county.

The Captains of the Fame, Ardelle & Thomas Lannon, along with the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Essex National Heritage Area are partnering together to offer this weekend of activities – both on land and sea.

There will be 6 public sails, 6 live demonstrations, 2 films, 3 Q&A sessions with captains, ship tours and more! Public sails require a reservation and fee, but all other activities are free and open to the public.

Then you can follow-up your stint on the water at Finz Restaurant from 7-10pm on Saturday night for drinks, free appetizers, music, raffles and plenty of salty sailing wisdom.

Schedule of Events

  • Make sail reservations online for all vessels via the Schooner Fame website
  • Please make a note of the individual trip times (see below) for each vessel. When making a reservation, choose the reservation time that matches the vessel you’d like to sail.
  • Fame sails: 10:30am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm.
  • Ardelle sails: 11:30am, 2:00pm.
  • Lannon sails: 4:30pm.

Saturday, November 1st

  • 10:30 – 4:30pm. public sails aboard Fame, Ardelle, Thomas Lannon.
  • 11am – 4pm. Friendship open for public visitation.
  • 11am – live demonstration aboard Friendship.
  • 12:30pm – free screening of the Thomas Lannon movie, plus q&a session with captain.
  • 2:30pm – live demonstration aboard Friendship.
  • 4:30pm – free screening of the Fame movie, plus q&a session with captain.
  • 7pm – 10pm. “downrig or die” evening event at Finz Restaurant.

Sunday, November 2nd

  • 11am – splicing workshop aboard Fame.
  • 12pm – Ardelle downrigging demonstration.
  • 1pm – Lannon downrigging demonstration.
  • 2pm – Friendship downrigging demonstration. q&a session with captain on the ongoing preservation and maintenance program for Friendship.

All vessels will be docked at the Salem Maritime National Historic site (173 Derby Street) or Pickering Wharf Marina (23 Congress Street). Free film screenings will be held in St. Joseph Hall, 2nd floor. (160 Derby Street). Visit for the complete schedule and updated information.