The Victory Chimes during the July 2022 45th Annual Great Schooner Race. Photo by Ken Waltz

ROCKLAND — The 128-foot long wooden schooner Victory Chimes, which hails out of Rockland, will discontinue its operations.

But the owner said they are trying to find a new home for the historic sailing vessel which currently is docked off Captain Spear Drive.

Owner and captain, Sam Sikkema, announced Monday, Aug. 29, the ship’s long sailing career in Maine will end in October. Built in 1900, Victory Chimes has sailed the Maine coast since 1954 as a “windjammer” (sailing pleasure craft for paying guests).

The ship is celebrated on the 2003 commemorative state quarter for Maine. The ship was originally launched in Bethel, Del., as one of 4,000 such cargo ships. Then named Edwin & Maud, she hauled cargo in the Chesapeake Bay until 1946. She was then converted to the passenger trade. The ship is the last of the large, former cargo schooners still sailing, according to the statement released by the owner.

According to Captain Sikkema, “After long and careful consideration we have come to the difficult decision that 2022 will be Victory Chimes last sailing season. Upcoming Coast Guard compliance, cost and availability of materials for upcoming maintenance, the lack of ability to haul the ship in Maine and the losses of the 2020 season have all become a hill too big to climb.”

“We are working diligently to find a new home for the vessel. I am optimistic that there will be a way for the ship to exist and continue to tell its story in a meaningful way for generations to come. Thus far the 2022 season has brought us some truly beautiful sailing, lovely music and wonderful people. We invite you to come join us in celebrating the ship’s life and times in the windjammer fleet as we take one last turn around the bay,” the captain concluded in his statement.

According to SuperYachts.com, Victory Chimes is for sale for $650,000.

Sikkema purchased Victory Chimes in 2018.

In 1987, Tom Monaghan, then owner of Domino’s Pizza and the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club, purchased the vessel and put it through an extensive restoration at Samples Ship Yard in Boothbay. In 1989, Domino’s put the infrequently used vessel — then named the Domino Effect — up for sale. The only interested party had plans to ship the schooner to Japan and use it for a sushi restaurant.

That’s when Capts. Kip Files and Paul DeGaeta stepped forward and purchased the Victory Chimes in 1990 and returned it to the Maine windjammer trade. This prompted the Maine Legislature to bestow the honor of “Official Windjammer of the state of Maine.”

The Victory Chimes has 21 cabins and can accommodate 43 passengers.