Passengers on the deck of the schooner Olad had a close-up view, as the oldest commercial sailing ships, schooners Lewis R. French and Stephen Taber, marked their respective 140 years under sail in a race June 17 from Camden to Rockland. The daysailing schooner Olad served as race committee boat, marking the start of the friendly competition’s course.

Olad’s captain, Aaron Lincoln, said this season also marks a milestone for his boat. It is the 25th anniversary of Olad’s daysailing career from Camden’s waterfront.

The Taber and French are the nation’s oldest working sailing ships and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as National Historic Landmarks.

The Lewis R. French, sailing out of Camden, and the Stephen Taber, homeported in Rockland, both carry overnight passengers. In their early careers the two working schooners transported lumber and coal along the coast, according to the website at oldsaltblog.com. Now their cargo experiences a way of living and working from Maine’s coastal history.

Lincoln, Garth Wells of the Lewis R. French and Noah Barnes of the Stephen Taber are the youngest captains of the Midcoast schooner fleet, and they all acquired their vessels around the same time, seven years ago.

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