History of the Gertrude L.
The Gertrude L. Thebaud is one of the
most famous fishing schooners out of Gloucester, home of rugged and
sea-wise fishermen. This sleek, sturdy vessel was built with a
weather eye on practicability of fishing and a lee eye on the pride
of being the fastest schooner afloat. Eighty thousand dollars, more
money than had ever been laid out for a New England schooner, was
invested by Louis A. Thebaud to achieve the supremacy of the
Designed along the lines of a racing yacht
by the noted marine architect, Frank Paine of Boston, the Gertrude
L. Thebaud was sound and seaworthy. Whereas, most fishing
schooners had and overall length of 115 to 125 feet, the Thebaud's
ran to 135 feet with a water line of 98 feet.
She was built at the Arthur D. Story yard in
Essex, Massachusetts in the winter of 1929-30. Nine old time sail
makers worked for seven weeks to finish her 8652 square feet of
canvas, costing $3800. Boat builders, with three centuries of
expertise behind them launched the Gertrude L. Thebaud on
March 17, 1930. They towed her to Gloucester to prepare her for sea.
She won the international fisherman's trophy that year by beating the
Bluenose. This eased the Gloucester fishermen's pride which had been
scuttled several successive times by the prowess of the Nova Scotian.
However, the Bluenose has held the cup ever since her victory the
The Gertrude L. Thebaud continued to
add to her noteworthy record. Rated by her master, Captain Ben Pine,
as a 16 1/2 knot vessel in a strong breeze, she carried Commander
MacMillan on several of his Arctic explorations. The schooner was
inducted at the beginning of the war as the flagship of the Coast
Guard's Corsair fleet, First Naval District, to patrol off the New
England coast on the look-out for submarines.
The end came for the Gertrude L.
Thebaud in February, 1948, when she broke up on the breakwater at
LaGuardia, Venezuela during a storm. Fortunately no hands were
The Gertrude L Thebaud is a striking
model with its white sails and contrasting rigging. Great pains have
been taken to reproduce the dull-black topsides of the original
schooner and the red anti-fouling paint on her bottom. The deck
houses and fittings are white and spars are stained with white trim.
The model is mounted on a mahogony base with a brass finish
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