Article from Maine Windjammer Association August 2018 Newsletter ()
April 27, 2017
Schooner Heritage Celebrates 35th Season

credit: Courtesy Schooner Heritage
Fall 1981: Capt. Doug and crew working on the Schooner Heritage.

With more than 50 years of schooner life under their belts and this season marking their 35th year at the helm of the Heritage, Captains Doug and Linda Lee have built a lifetime around sailing Maine’s spectacular coast aboard their beloved schooner. What began as a lark – they were given shares in the schooner business as a wedding present – became a lifelong adventure and way of life.

credit: Courtesy Schooner Heritage
Spring 1983: Surrounded by the work crew, Captains Doug and Linda can be seen holding their daughters—Clara was just 2 1/2 years old when Heritage was launched, while Rachel was only 2-1/2 months old.

In the late 1970s, Captains Doug and Linda Lee decided to do the unthinkable: they built their own schooner specifically for the windjamming trade from the ground – meaning the keel – up! The result was a beautifully designed 95-foot schooner with gorgeous lines that offers a roomier experience for their passengers.

credit: Mike Anderson (left), Bill Quinn (right)


Says Captain Linda, “The Heritage is the newest windjammer – we made sure she has lots of creature comforts, lots of space.” After a year of planning and four years of construction, the Heritage was launched in April of 1983.

And, even after all this time, they love windjamming. “Every trip is special and different, there’s stargazing, sunrises, sunsets, wildlife watching, music at least one night, rowboats and a sailboat that guests can take out. It’s just so much fun.”

Over the course of their tenure in the windjamming industry, the Lees have seen many changes. One of the most pronounced is with food. In fact, in the 1970s, the norm was for galley chefs to use mixes for their bread, pastries and desserts. But then, Captain Linda decided to try her hand at baking bread in the woodstove aboard the schooner and it was such a hit that they’ve baked everything fresh ever since. “Every week, it’s different.” She serves hearty chowders, stews, casseroles along with freshly baked pastries, breads and salads to the delight of the guests. Lobster cookout on every trip, camaraderie in the galley fabulous chef everyone loves food. “It’s not super fancy, but it’s delicious,” says Captain Linda.


April was a big month for milestones…Captains Doug and Linda also celebrated the launch of their first grand-daughter, Anna.


Known for their sailing expertise, their deep knowledge of maritime history and their great storytelling abilities, the Lees have a loyal following of guests who return year after year. “We like to call it a safe adventure – it’s a combination of camping and a chance to reconnect with the outdoors combined with delicious food and fantastic sailing,” says Captain Linda.

The 2017 sailing schedule offers a nice mix of 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-day cruises, including some long weekend getaways. A few cruises focus on lighthouses, photography and sailing to Acadia National Park, but most of the trips are blissfully unstructured, with each day unfolding based on weather and whim.


credit: Fred LeBlanc


Hat’s off to Schooner Heritage on her 35th season! For more information about Heritage and other historic vessels belonging to the Maine Windjammer Association, visit


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