Maine Maritime Academy gets another financial boost to help renovate the ‘Bowdoin’

Posted:  Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 8:00pm

CASTINE —The Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum has awarded a second grant of $5,000 in funding to Maine Maritime Academy towards renovation of the historic schooner Bowdoin. The training vessel has been in Camden over the last winter and spring, and was relaunched into the water earlier in June.

A National Historic Landmark, the Bowdoin is also the Official Vessel of the State of Maine.

The renovation project is part of a long-term maintenance and care plan to replace Bowdoin’s deck and foremast and complete systems upgrades. The renovation is funded through the Bowdoin Centennial Campaign, a $1.6 million fundraising campaign to cover the renovation cost and strengthen her endowment. The aim of the campaign is to keep the Bowdoin exploring, sailing, and training for the next 100 years.

Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum (HEP) is an educational grant-making program of LeMay-America’s Car Museum. HEP is funded by collector vehicle and classic boat enthusiasts to serve youth and young adults on their pathways to careers in automotive /marine restoration and preservation along with the long-term interests of the collector vehicle and classic boat communities. Visit for more information.

The Bowdoin serves as the key training ship for Maine Maritime Academy‘s Vessel Operations and Technology undergraduate program and Small Vessel Operations program, as well as the platform for MMA’s Sail Training Minor. When not in use for training purposes, Bowdoin’s popularity and historical charm keep her calendar full with public and private tours, appearances, and excursions. 

The Bowdoin enjoys a long history of seafaring education and Arctic exploration. Commissioned by explorer Donald B. MacMillan to facilitate his work in the high northern latitudes, Bowdoin has made 21 trips above the Arctic Circle, 18 of them before 1954 under the command of MacMillan. MacMillan sold Bowdoin to the U.S. Navy for use in World War II during the Greenland Patrol. After the war, MacMillan bought the ship back for $3,000 and continued to sail Bowdoin for nine more years around Greenland. After MacMillan's retirement, the boat belonged to the Schooner Bowdoin Association until 1988, when Maine Maritime Academy purchased the vessel for the purpose of training students.

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science, and transportation. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of Maine Maritime Academy in 1941. For more information, visit