When & If, a restored 1939 elite racing schooner commissioned by Gen. George Patton, will visit Annapolis in October. Photo:

Historic Boats to Visit Annapolis in October, Tours Offered

If the cancellation of the Annapolis Boat Shows this fall has you missing the sight of beautiful boats at City Dock, there’s good news.

The City of Annapolis has announced two historic boats will visit from October to November, and both will be open for free tours. The Lynx, modeled after a privateer built in Baltimore in 1812; and the When & If, a schooner built for General George Patton that he intended to sail around the world “when the war is over, and if I live through it.”

The Annapolis Waterfront & Sailing Center worked to bring the two vessels to town and offer tours. Both vessels will be moored at the docks at the end of Prince George Street, thanks to special access from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The Lynx will be in Annapolis from October 6 to November 1. The privateer it’s based on was built in Fells Point in 1812, one of the fast, maneuverable sailing ships that were legally allowed to prey upon British Naval ships. The Lynx and the Chasseur, the ship that inspired the local Pride of Baltimore II, were both built by Thomas Kemp, a man whose fascinating history we dig into in the October issue of Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

This interpretation of the Lynx was built in 2001 and sails out of Nantucket as part of an educational program. While it’s in Annapolis, the city’s Recreation and Parks will organize socially-distanced sailing trips for underpriveleged youth together with the Waterfront & Sailing Center on both visiting boats.

The When & If  will be in town from October 15 to November 1. Commissioned by Patton and built in Wiscasset, Maine in 1939, the racing schooner was the general’s post-war dream. When he passed away in 1945 and never got to live out his round-the-world voyage, the sailboat stayed in the family until the 1970s. It was completely restored in 2012 and now cruises the coast for educational programs.

Both boats will serve as exciting additions to the waterfront in October.

“Annapolis is a sailor’s town,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “Our ability to lure these magnificent boats to Annapolis, and make them available for the public to tour, is a connector to our history, but getting our young people out on the water is now also a part of our future.”

-Meg Walburn Viviano