Schooner Black Douglas

Schooner Black Douglas

The "Black Douglas" (later "teQuest", "Aquarius", "Aquarius W"; now "El Boughaz I") is a three-masted staysail auxiliary schooner built for Robert C. Roebling (great-grandson of John A. Roebling and grand-nephew of Washington Roebling) at the Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine, and launched on June 9, 1930. Designed by renowned New York naval architects H.J. Gielow & Co., she is one of the largest steel-hulled schooners ever built.

The ship undertook a variety of functions during her first three and a half decades: private yacht for the Roebling family, patrol vessel in United States Navy service during World War II (as a "patrol yacht – coastal"; PYc-45), and research vessel for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service plying the Pacific from Alaska to Baja California.

She was bought at auction by Louis Black of Santa Monica, California, to be used as a treasure-hunting ship in the Caribbean; due to changes in the salvage laws this enterprise never materialized. From the mid-1960s she ran airplane parts around the Bahamas (until the owners went broke), and ended up moored at an outer island in the Turks and Caicos, being used as a floating electrical generator. Capt. George Stoll found her there and turned her into a second Flint School school ship. The school closed in 1981 and she was sold, and in 1982–1983 was reconditoned at the Abeking & Rasmussen shipyard in Lemwerder, Germany, serving as a template for the first generation of super yachts. She is currently owned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

She was launched with a 325-hp Cooper-Bessemer marine diesel engine, later replaced by a 400-hp model from San Francisco's Enterprise Engine & Foundry Company. She now is equipped with twin 290-hp Volvo Pentas. She has flown the flags of the United States, Panama, the Cayman Islands, the United Kingdom, and Morocco (current).

Dimensions: LOA, 175 feet; draft, 12.5 feet; beam, 32 feet.

In print

* "As smooth...under power as sail"; Cooper-Bessemer advertisement w/ photo ("Yachting", May 1930).
* "'Black Douglas' Runs Into Trouble" ("Savannah Morning News", [1942] ).
* "»Quite normal pupils«...nur ganz billig ist für sie die schwimmende Schule nicht" ("Kieler Chronik", October 4, 1974).
* "Jovens americanos gostaram de ver brasileiro sempre sorrindo" ("A Província do Pará", April 15, 1975).
* "Bermuda Gets an Early Taste of Tall Ship Fever" ("Royal Gazette", May 27, 1976).
* Cover photo ("The Bermudian", August 1976).
* "Eine komplette höhere Schule kam unter Schonersegeln nach Lübeck" ("Lübecker Nachrichten", October 28, 1977).
* "Probing the Oceans 1936–1976" (San Diego: Tofua Press, 1978).
* "Les Antilles aujourd'hui" (Paris: Éditions JA, 1979).
* "Beken of Cowes: A Century of Tall Ships" (London: Harrap, 1985).
* "Alternate Destination: Cádiz" ("SAIL", October 1987).
* "Aquarius, a Yacht to Treasure" ("Financial Times", December 30/31, 1989).
* Painting (for October 2000) in the "Professional Yachtsman’s Calendar" (Bungay, Suffolk: Colin Squire Publishing, 1999).
* S/Y "Aquarius" sales brochure (Ft. Lauderdale: Fraser Yachts Worldwide, 2002).
* "Ban bèk – Barku di bella" ("Èxtra Boneiru", August 8, 2006).

External links

* [ Skidaway Institute of Oceanography's definitive "Black Douglas" history]
* [ Flint School alumnus Palmer Stevens' running history]
* [ Department of the Interior press release, 1947]
* [ Department of the Interior press release, 1949]
* [ Résumé of wartime service]

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