GEORGIA – Friend Ship’s name, painted in white along the ship’s finely-angled bow, is a pun with layers.
There’s the obvious link between “ship” and “friendship,” of course, but that wasn’t even the intention of the boat’s maker when he first christened the boat, current owner Matthias Dubilier noted. Instead, the boat’s original shipwright took the name from the Friend Ship’s class of sloop, which in turn lifted a name from its Maine hometown.
“Friend Ship is a Friendship sloop from Friendship, Maine,” Dubilier summarized a little more bluntly, looking across the bow of his boat as it sat idle in a Georgia warehouse before adding that “its sister ship’s name is Friendship, no space.”
Dubilier, a lifetime sailor and owner of Whistling Man Schooner Company, has been overseeing the boat’s restoration in Georgia over the last two years alongside Hannah “Diddy” Langsdale, one of Friend Ship’s five captains. Though the boat had been pulled together again for last summer’s sailing season, the Friend Ship has spent the better part of the last two years in pieces, strewn across Whistling Man’s warehouse near Georgia’s Arrowhead Industrial Park.
Friendship sloop is a style of sloop popularized by Maine fishermen at the turn of the 19th century. Its simplified rigging meant that it only took a single fisherman to pilot a Friendship sloop, and a low profile and large hull made hauling nets easy and guaranteed room for a fisherman’s catch.
“They were the speedy package ships,” Dubilier said. “They were essentially the pick-up trucks of their day.”
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