rover schooners

 Welcome to Rover Schooners...

 ... the official home of Merritt Walter designed working schooners and pleasure vessels.

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... the vision defined by curves ... and the curves defined by numbers ...


American Rover


The American Rover was placed in service in 1986, sailing out of downtown Norfolk's Waterside. At that time she was the largest three-masted passenger schooner under United States flag and one of only two sailing vessels to be US Coast Guard certified to carry 150 passengers.

Fall of 2011 I attended her 25th year birthday celebration. I was pleased to find her as sparkling as the day she was launched.

She is unusual in many respects.

One, she requires only a captain and a crew of two. The rig is well balanced, divided into easily managed sails. Spars are light 6061- T6 aluminum tubing stayed with stainless steel. The rig is much lighter and stronger than the old wood spars used on schooners of old. All lower sails are self-tending except for the jib.

Two, she is twin screw however, instead of normal configuration of side by side they are arranged over and under.

Three, the steel hull structure is designed to be economicaly constructed.