Freedom is an authentic replica of a nineteenth century blockade-runner. She is a double masted, gaff-rigged, topsail schooner. Naval architect Merritt Walters and his marine construction company, Rover Marine, Inc., designed and built Freedom, the first of his many Rover schooners, in 1982 in Norfolk, Virginia. The Schooner Freedom is built of steel with aluminum masts and spars. The Freedom’s sparred length is 76 feet while her length on deck is 64 feet. Freedom’s beam is a 15 feet 4 inches and her draft is a little less than 6 feet. Her mast height is 62 feet and she carries a total sail area of 2400 feet. Freedom was built with stringent attention paid to water depth and bridge height along the Intracoastal Waterway, making her the perfect vessel for both inland and offshore sailing. The Freedom was the first sailing tour boat to be certified under the Coast Guard sub-chapter ‘T’ to carry passengers to hire since the great days of sail. Under this certificate she is licensed to carry forty-one passengers and required to have a master and two crew members.
Nights of Lights Sail
St. Augustine’s world-famous Nights of Lights traces its origin to the Spanish tradition of displaying a single white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays. Today, in the year of St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary, the tradition continues, with some three million white lights adorning the wonderful old building sand landmarks along the bayfront and throughout the brick streets of the nation’s oldest city.
There are lots of ways to see St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights, and the Schooner Freedom provides a new dimension with its Nights of Lights sails, offering a breathtaking view from the water of the city scape and the lights reflecting in the water.
Advance reservations are required for all the Nights of Lights sails, and seating is limited. Reserve by calling (904) 810-1010 or visiting here. All sails depart from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, which is located at 111 Avenida Menendez.
Nights of Lights Illumination Ceremony Sail
On Light Up! night (Saturday, November 21, 2015), when the mayor of St. Augustine throws the switch to turn on the lights, the Schooner Freedom is offering a special Nights of Lights Illumination Ceremony Sail. The two-hour sail departs from the marina at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person, which includes complimentary soda, water, beer, wine and hot chocolate. Seating is limited, so early reservations are recommended.
When? Sails on Saturday, November 21, 2015, only.
Nights of Lights Sunset Sail
The lights stay up through the end of January, 2016, and the Schooner Freedom offers nightly Nights of Lights Sunset Sails throughout that time. The Nights of Lights Sunset Sail departs at 4:15 p.m. and lasts two hours. The $50 per person rate includes complimentary soda, water, beer, wine and hot chocolate.
When? Nightly sails from November 22 – December 31, 2015
Nights of Lights Moonlight Sail
On Friday and Saturday nights only from November 27, 2015, through January 30, 2016, the Schooner Freedom offers its Nights of Lights Moonlight Sail. This sail is just over an hour and departs at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person, which includes complimentary soda, water, beer, wine and hot chocolate.
When? Friday and Saturday nights only from November 27 – December 26, 2015.