Did you know?
Sabino is one of the only National Historic Landmarks that you can ride on. Another example? The cable cars of San Francisco.
The S.S. Sabino is one of four National Historic Landmarks at the Mystic Seaport. The others are:
Ride aboard one of the oldest wooden, coal-fired steamboats still in operation.
2013 Operating Schedule:
Wednesday through Monday, May 22 - October 14
Sabino will not be operating on Tuesdays
The steamboat Sabino was built in Maine in 1908 for passenger service on the Damariscotta River. Sabino was formally designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992 and now chugs along the scenic Mystic River for your family's enjoyment. Cruises leave from the Sabino dock near our main entrance, weather permitting.
30-Minute Cruise Hours and Pricing
|DATES / TIMES||TICKETS|
|Wed. - Mon: 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm||Adult: $5.50 / Youth (ages 6-17): $4.50|
90-Minute Downriver Cruise Hours and Pricing
|DATES / TIMES||TICKETS|
|Wed. - Mon: 5:30 to 7 p.m.|
Downriver cruises are also available for private charters. Please call 860.572.0711 the day of your visit to ensure that Sabino will be operating a public cruise that evening.
|Adult: $13 / Youth (ages 6-17): $11|
Museum admission is required for the half-hour cruise. Admission is not required for the 90-minute cruise; however, you may not enter the Museum grounds until 20 minutes before departure. Senior, AAA, active duty military, college student, and member discounts are not available for Sabino cruises.
For more information, call 860.572.5351 or visit the ticket booth at the Sabino dock.
The History of Sabino
From about 1820 to 1940, coastal and riverside residents relied on steamboats as much as we do on cars and busses for convenient transportation. With poor roads and few bridges, it took far longer to travel on land than it did at eight miles an hour in a comfortable steamboat. But by 1900 the railroad had reduced the demand for steamboat service, and with the popularization of the automobile and the development of reliable paved highways in the 1920s, the steamboat became obsolete.
The 56-foot steamboat Sabino is the last remaining wooden, coal-fired steamboat in operation in the U.S. Built in 1908 in East Boothbay, Maine, by W. Irving Adams, she spent most of her career ferrying passengers and cargo between Maine towns and islands. First she operated on the Damariscotta River in midcoast Maine. After sinking during an accident in 1918, she ran on the Kennebec River. From 1927 to 1960 she served the islands of Casco Bay, running out of Portland. For this service her narrow hull was widened with sponsons to make her more stable in the open waters. But though her configuration and passenger capacity changed through the years, her engine did not. She is still powered by the Paine compound -- two-cylinder -- steam engine installed in 1908; the present boiler was installed in 1940.
After being restored by the Corbin family of Newburyport, Massachusetts, the Sabino was purchased in 1974 to serve as a working exhibit at Mystic Seaport. She is operated during the warmer months on regularly scheduled runs for the enjoyment and education of visitors. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Sabino underwent major restorations to hull and engine in the Museum's Preservation Shipyard, making her sound as she approaches her second century of operation. The Sabino was formally designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.
How Does Sabino's Engine Work?
Steam is produced in a watertube boiler, in which the water circulates through the fire box in a series of tubes to produce high-pressure steam. Valves direct the steam first to the small high-pressure cylinder and from there to the larger low-pressure cylinder to expand against the pistons and drive the cranks that turn the propeller shaft. Her screw propeller -- a maritime innovation of the 1840s -- is far more efficient than the side wheels that used to drive steamboats. Where does the steam go? After leaving the low-pressure cylinder it passes through a condenser pipe on the outside of the Sabino's hull, where it is cooled back to a liquid and pumped back into the boiler to go through the process again.