Larinda rises again

Larinda's figurehead frog in a new coat of paint
Larinda's figurehead frog in a new coat of paint

The highlight of the Tall Ships visiting Lunenburg was seeing Larinda. She’s a replica of a 1767 schooner, built over a period of 26 years by Larry Mahan of Barnstable, Mass.  She was a labour of love, full of wood carvings and fancy and fun. Mahan sailed her in many Tall Ships events, where she was much admired. Then in 2003, having taken shelter in Halifax Harbour during Hurricane Juan, she was rammed by another ship during the storm and sank, right next to a sewerage outlet. It was a big mess, and Mahan despaired of ever being able to repair her.

Larinda's stern, reflected in the water
Larinda's stern, reflected in the water of Lunenburg Harbour

The salvaged boat was bought by a Nova Scotia couple who live on St. Margaret’s Bay, and is being carefully restored.  Larinda didn’t actually make it to the Halifax Tall Ships event, and hasn’t been fully rigged yet. But she was towed to Lunenburg and rafted up alongside the schooner Unicorn, from whose deck we could admire her. Larinda is sporting a new colour scheme of black, white and bronze instead of green and off-white (see photos of Larinda before the sinking).  Her distinctive red battened junk sails were irreparably damaged, and her new sails will be white. The frog in the tricorner hat still graces her bow, and her brasswork is shiny.

Larinda truly is a special ship.  It will be exciting to see her sail again.

Larinda's deck, with graceful carvings, is being restored.
Larinda's deck, with graceful carvings, is being restored.

6 Replies to “Larinda rises again”

  1. Hi there,

    Cynthia here, I’m working with Nova Scotia Tourism. Thanks for sharing this. What a beauty. Shame she didn’t make it to Halifax but I’m sure those in Lunenburg enjoyed the up close and personal look at her.

    I wanted to tell you about the contest Nova Scotia Tourism is having…iLove Nova Scotia. I’m hoping you might be interested because you have so much great content in your blog.

    We want to hear from Nova Scotians and visitors alike about all the things they love about it. It doesn’t have to be fancy…it just has to be real and genuine. The prize is a $15,000 custom built dream vacation in Nova Scotia. That means the vacation is tailored to what you love, whether you love nature, outdoor adventures or restaurants and spa retreats, or a combination of it all, we’ll give you the vacation of a lifetime. And think of the friends or family you might like to invite to join you. With $15,000, you can even fly them in.

    If you want to learn more about the contest visit

    Anyway, Lunenburg…Mahone Bay…so gorgeous and should be showcased. If you know some others from your community who might like to particpate we welcome it. there can never be too much content. Especially when it comes from the heart.

    Cheers…and thanks for sharing.


    1. I don’t know, but Mahan got his plans of the original ship, Sultana, from a model-boat magazine, according to an old article on Maybe some sleuthing for “Sultana model” would turn up something. But the carving on Larinda: you might have to fill out those details yourself. Unless someone has done it … If anybody knows anything about this, do leave a comment.

  2. hi.. I was a troubadour on the Larinda. It was as Captain Larry Mahan would say.. “the ship that brought people together”. I was honored to steer the helm, to work with the mates, and on each voyage the crew would not only do something to improve her, such as netting the widow’s walk. We share stories … it was the ” Magic Ship” I will [always remember] Captain Larry and the voyages we sailed, it was a sad day in history when Larinda sank.. So many things went down with it and many hurt… but nonetheless the memories never went down…. Peace and I hope that Larinda will be remembered forever, It deserves to… Love Mark Moniz

    1. Wow, thanks for writing. Hopefully Larinda will touch many more in the future in her new incarnation.

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