Schooner Brilliant ~ Decks Awash From Fred Bodin


The Brilliant was built in 1932, and is 61.5 feet long. She was designed for speed, and set the record for a Trans-Atlantic crossing for a vessel of her size at the time. This is an ocean-going, sail powered speedboat if ever there was one. As you can see, there was good wind during this Gloucester Schooner Race, where one competing schooner blew out her topsail, and there were a few green-looking photographers on the Committee/Press boat. Schooner Brilliant will compete in the Gloucester Schooner Races this year.

As with all historic schooners, paying passengers are essential to support the cost of Schooner Brilliant, sailing from her home port of Mystic (CT) to Gloucester, during the race itself, and the trip back to Mystic. Any leg of this voyage would certainly be an experience of a lifetime! I urge you to support Brilliant the other schooners during our annual Gloucester Schooner Races: Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea™ : Sail Overnight on Schooner Brilliant For more information and to book passage call: 860-572-5331



  • The reality is that BRILLIANT may have to withdraw from the Gloucester Schooner Festival this year for lack of paying passengers. MYSTIC SEAPORT is not immune from today’s economic challenges. It would be a win-win to sail aboard this vessel and help defray the expense of BRILLIANT’s trip to Gloucester. Her skipper, Nicholas Alley is a terrific sailor and very congenial fellow. If you know of anyone that might make the trip please urge them to call the BRILLIANT office at 860-572-5331 immediately.

    Al Bezanson


  • The Gloucester Schooner Races are a large and a widely visible part of Gloucester’s fishing heritage; locally, regionally and nationally. For the races to continue, the community and its organizations need to step up and be more than just spectators. Thinking that the Chamber or some other organization will do it for us is not working. The Port of Gloucester needs to be a welcoming and generous host, needs to publicize the event creatively, and make it an extremely attractive and profitable event for all East Coast Schooners and for the good of the City. We may take it for granted, but the Gloucester Schooner Races are unique and an absolutely awe-inspiring event. Where else can you see a historic spectacle like this, and every year? If we do nothing, we’ll have “Schooner Days,” an arts and crafts fair. These are my thoughts. Fred


  • Fred… your comment is straight to the point and could not have been better-said. Gloucester ought not continue to expect the dwindling population of schooners to show up for its benefit without reaching out more to the boat owners. The festival has taken on a life of its own over the years with all sorts of piggy-back activity. There is a big problem with the scarcity of berthing space, so visiting schooners are at times denied convenient access and vice versa for the public. What we have here is an event about schooners for the benefit of Gloucester. Better not lose sight of the fact that there are events elsewhere organized by schooner people themselves for their own enjoyment.

    BRILLIANT has withdrawn from this year’s festival. Had she come she would have been berthed with no public access in a location where she could only be viewed from a boat.

    Al Bezanson


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