Australia - Coasting Schooner
Walk through and around this beached vessel, examining her "bones" as you might examine a skeleton!
Sailing vessels carried freight along the coast of North America from colonial times until World War II. The Australia is a shallow-draft schooner of a type that was useful in the coastwise trade and is displayed here up on blocks. This exhibit explains the coasting trade and also displays photographs of different types of vessels and cargoes, and the routes they traversed.
The centerboard schooner Australia, formerly named AIma , was built in 1862 in Great South Bay, Long Island, N.Y. She was sold to British interests in Nassau for use as a blockade runner in the Civil War, eventually being captured by Union warships, and later was sold at auction to become a coaster in the Chesapeake.
The 70'7", two-masted vessel came to Mystic Seaport in 1951 for use as a sail education vessel. In 1962 she was hauled out for restoration, but the decay was too extensive to make rebuilding worthwhile. It was therefore decided to preserve the Australia as an exhibit of ship construction. Today you can walk through and around this beached vessel, examining her "bones" as you might examine a skeleton.
While you're exploring the Australia exhibt, don't forget to check out Australia Beach! It's right next door. <Click here for details>