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Rockland schooner continues life under new owners, name

By Stephen Betts | Jun 26, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts Adam McKinlay will serve as chef aboard the historic schooner Boyd N. Sheppard.

Rockland — Adam and Katie McKinlay are taking the helm of one of Rockland's historic schooners, becoming the next generation to sail passengers around Penobscot Bay and beyond.

The McKinlays purchased the 99-foot Isaac H. Evans in November 2017 from Capt. Brenda Thomas. Thomas had owned and captained the Evans since 1999 when she purchased it from Capt. Ed Glaser.

The McKinlays renamed the vessel the schooner Boyd N. Sheppard, which was the 1886-built vessel's original name. They will be having a dockside open boat this evening (Tuesday, June 26) from 5 to 9 p.m. at North End Shipyard off Front Street in Rockland.

"We didn't think we would get into this industry," Adam McKinlay said, citing the high cost of purchasing and maintaining a large wooden boat.

But the couple have had saltwater in their blood for decades. Adam, 39, first had contact with schooners when he took a sail as a passenger on the Heritage in 1995. He began working on the Heritage in 1997 and has worked in all jobs aboard the schooner, except captain, in the ensuing 20-plus years.

Katie, 42, will captain the Boyd N. Sheppard.

She came from a background of Great Lakes racing and tall ship sailing, according to the Sheppard's website.

In 2008, she moved to Maine to crew aboard the Victory Chimes. Adam and Katie met aboard the Victory Chimes. They married in 2013.

The two also worked for Hurricane Island Outward Bound's sailing program, both in St. George and Florida.

The Sheppard needed a lot of work before it was ready for the 2018 season, Adam noted. The vessel suffered considerable damage during a late October storm when it broke loose.

The stem, a number of planks, rails and most of the bow have been replaced.

The couple will offer both traditional windjammer-type trips -- two to six days -- as well as four-hour trips on which lunch or dinner will be served. The couple will offer Sunday four-hour trips with brunch provided.

The Sheppard was built as an oyster freighter in 1886 in Mauricetown, N.J.

Later renamed the Isaac H. Evans, the vessel became a Maine windjammer in 1971 when Capts. Douglas and Linda Lee acquired it and restored the vessel, which has since been based at the North End Shipyard.

The vessel had been for sale for several years. in 2015, Thomas attempted to sell it through an essay contest, but not enough entries were received.

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