Twin Schooners

Two stunning schooners at once!

To kick off this exciting maritime enterprise, Dawson Moreland’s shipwrights built not one, but two schooners in the open air at the boatyard of The Dory Shop on the Lunenburg, Nova Scotia waterfront.

More than sister ships, these 48-foot schooners are exact twins, constructed side-by-side and from the same original half-hull design. Their incredibly durable, never-to-rot Mountain Gormier keels were laid simultaneously. And what a story there is just about this keel wood! Check out this video of its harvest in the jungle of Grenada and the three-day West Indian adventure to bring it out!

Lunenburg Schooners

 The vessel’s double-sawn frames, traditionally fashioned from two layers of solid Osage Orange, were built a pair at a time with installation on one vessel followed by a mirror installation on the other. It was the same process for the two steam-bent White Oak frames that were installed between each of the double-sawn frames. The twin hulls were planked, caulked and faired in the spring of 2012, at which point the building gang focused efforts on the interior of one of the vessels.

The Schooner Martha Seabury, built for Hollywood actor-adventurer Billy Campbell, and named for his grandmother, was launched August 7. Her twin remains available – a blank canvas ready for completion to her future owner’s specifications. Get more information at

Lunenburg Schooners

Launch day for the Martha Seabury

Fast and Able Schooners

In developing these schooners, Dawson Moreland founder Capt. Daniel Moreland and designer/builder David Westergard set the lofty goal of creating fast and able vessels that are simple, elegant and blue-water capable combined with a cozy, enchanting below-decks.

“We want the best of all worlds,” says Capt. Moreland. “Vessels so fast they’ll win all the races, so beautiful they’ll make you cry and so comfortable you’ll never want to go home.”

The resulting original half-hull design was heavily influenced by the Tancook Schooners, traditional small seaworthy sailing vessels developed on Tancook Island, a short sail from Lunenburg, and known up and down the coast. Built for fishing and carrying potatoes, cabbage or passengers among the islands, these small schooners had to navigate narrow waterways yet also contend with the North Atlantic, clawing to windward in a gale to make port. Such were these fine vessels.

Lunenburg Schooners

Photo by Peter Zwicker

A number of original Tancook schooners have been restored and are still sailing as private yachts today. They are also known to have influenced renowned designers such as John Alden, David Stevens, George Stadel, and William Roue of Bluenose fame.

Their traditional construction, which can be viewed start to finish on our blog , ensures a vessel that is as powerfully strong and seaworthy as she is beautiful.

Only the best materials

Lunenburg Schooners

Selecting logs for plank stock

As blue water sailors themselves, Dan and Dave have been especially fussy when selecting the materials for these schooners. In addition to the woods already mentioned, the vessels are planked with 1 ¾ inch Alaskan Yellow Cedar with Angelique for the sheer and garboard strakes. They are decked with a teak-like wood from Guyana called Determa and everything is bronze and copper fastened throughout.

Specifications and performance

On the Martha Seabury‘s maiden voyage to Newport, Rhode Island via Gloucester, Massachusetts, vessel owner Billy Campbell and the professional mariners aboard as crew were amazed at the schooner’s performance. Read a full review of the vessel at

The vessels come with a full two-week comprehensive orientation for her Skipper, should he or she so wish, in any and all aspects of handling, sailing, anchoring, cruising and maintaining their new command.

The specifications of the Martha Seabury and her twin are as follows:

Length on deck  48 ft 
Beam  13 ft
Draft   6.5 ft
Displacing 38,000 lbs. 
Ballast of 11,000 lbs.
Trim ballast 3,000 lbs. 

Lunenburg Schooners