Schooner Liberty Star
|Vessel Type||Gaff-rigged Schooner|
|Sailing Grounds||Virgin Islands|
|Homeport||St. Thomas (Dec. - May)
Boston (June - Sept.)
The Liberty Star is the nimble "little sister" of the Liberty Clipper. A wooden-hulled schooner built in the 1980s, she has circumnavigated the globe twice! Her cozy cabins will make you feel right at home as you enjoy sailing on this clever schooner that will delight you in the warm winds and waters of the Virgin Islands.
Schooner Liberty Star Sailing Vacations
General Vessel Information...
The Schooner Liberty Star offers crewed sailing charters in the Virgin Islands from our base at the East End of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands from Red Hook Harbor. Each day we can sail to a new destination as we explore these enchanting islands from our tall ship. These sailing cruises aboard our classic schooner are a relaxing way to spend time exploring the Virgin Islands and offer a wonderful value for your vacation.
Virgin Islands Windjammer Cruise Grounds
Your Virgin Islands sail is likely to include visits to the following locations:
- St. Thomas: All of our cruises board and disembark from Red Hook in Vessup Bay on the east end of St. Thomas.
- Charlotte Amalie: A large and protected harbor on St. Thomas.
- Red Hook Bay: All conveniences and grocery shopping, along with many dining options. Ferry service to St. John and the British Virgin Islands is also available from Red Hook. And there are several fun dining spots that are all within walking distance of our dock at American Yacht Harbor if you get into town early!
- St. Johns: St. John is considered the natural gem of the US Virgin Islands and hosts a large national park. On many of our Virgin Islands sailing cruises we will visit St. Johns the first night!
- Cruz Bay: The "big town" of St. Johns has lots of great entertainment options. Step ashore for a cold-one...
- Trunk Bay Beach: Located on the north side of St. John, this beach has been selected as a Top 10 Beach by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine.
- Cinnamon Bay Beach: Located just east of Trunk Bay, this is another beautiful Caribbean beach.
British Virgin Islands Locations:
- Jost van Dyke:
- This island, the westernmost of the British Virgins, is home of White Bay beach, the Soggy Dollar Bar, and Foxy's. Named after a 17th century Dutch pirate, Jost Van Dyke has a sleepy Caribbean air and is less developed than other islands in the British Virgins. It is a favorite of sailors who stop for music, dancing and tropical drinks.
- Bubbly Hole: Get "washed" in this little gem. It's a short hike to get to it and our crew will show you the way.
- Foxy's: No trip to the BVI is complete without a visit to this world famous spot!
- Sandy Cay:
- We may anchor just south of Sandy Cay; it's literally a beach island, we love it and think you will too!
- Cane Garden Bay: It's not just famous for the song lyrics, it is also home to the Caribbean's oldest continually operated rum distillery. Head ashore and try a sample.
- Soper's Hole: Tortola's West-End is a fantastic anchorage, come "swing on the hook" and find out why.
- Virgin Gorda:
- When you think of Virgin Gorda, you think The Baths - one of the Caribbean's natural wonders, a spectacular formation of gigantic boulders, creating grottoes and caves that you can explore on foot. The island is home for the famous resort of Little Dix Bay, as well as the Bitter End Yacht Club.
- Norman Island:
- This island is reputed to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Legend has it that pirate treasure is buried at a natural formation called the Indians, which are half-submerged rocks forming an underwater labyrinth for divers and snorkelers. The island is deserted but for a few seabirds, several footpaths, and the Pirate's Bight Bar. One trail leads to Spy Glass Hill, a challenging half-hour hike rewarding you with fantastic views. Pirates once used this lookout to spot Spanish Galleons returning home with gold and treasure. And no visit to the Virgin Islands is complete without a visit to Willy T's Floating Boat Bar, if not for the spectacle at least for the rum.
Liberty Star is a traditional gaff-rigged, two-masted wooden schooner, built by Maine craftsmen. The Liberty Star was lovingly refit for service in the British Virgin Islands in 2012 and features two upper and lower berth cabins, and a deluxe cabin with a full-sized double bed. All cabins offer opening skylights, and lots of varnished wood detailing. The below deck area is air conditioned.
The cabins have been panelled in yellow-pine to provide a warm and rich feeling to our schooner. Each bunk is outfitted with comfortable pillows, linens, and blankets. We also provide both bath and beach towels.The cabins have 110-volt outlets to charge your camera and other electrical devices. Each bunk also has a reading light; just imagine reading yourself to sleep, after a wonderful home cooked meal, to the sound of the water lapping gently at the hull... You're sure to feel transported back to simpler days while on your sailing vacation cruise!
Cabins 1 and 2:
- Our forward cabins offer top/bottom bunks with very comfortable beds.
- There is a "butterfly hatch" above each cabin to offer fresh air.
- Each cabin has storage space in the custom-built storage lockers (please pack light, it is a tall ship!).
- Each bunk has its own fan.
- Our deluxe cabin offers a full-sized bed.
- This cabin also features an opening skylight for natural light and fresh air.
- There is storage in the large cabin area and under bed storage.
- This cabin features multiple fans.
There is one bathroom with a shower for our guests that is shared and we also have a fresh-water on-deck shower.
There is plenty of room at our table in the Salon or eat on deck under the warm caribbean sun.
Liberty Star Windjammer Cruise Blog
Safety & Specifications
The Liberty Windjammer Fleet offers the only US-Flag and US-Crewed tall ship windjammer cruises in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Your safety is always our number one priority, so rest assured that the Schooner Liberty Clipper and Schooner Liberty Star exceeds all required United States Coast Guard Safety and Crew Training Requirements. The Liberty Fleet is a company founded by professional sailors – the owner is himself a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, holds an unlimited tonnage US Coast Guard license, and understands and respects the unique demands of the sea upon both ships and crew.
The Liberty Star proudly flies a US Flag at her mast-head. We take great pride in maintaining our ship to the highest safety standards.
Liberty Star is equipped with modern emergency communications equipment, emergency medical equipment, and American citizen crew members who are trained in emergency response techniques. Furthermore, we have USCG inspected TYPE-1 Life Preservers, SOLAS approved Life-Rafts that are inspected and certified annually by the manufacturer, life-rings, a fully Coast Guard inspected fire-fighting system, and most importantly the training to effectively use this equipment.
Liberty Star Staffing
A strong crew is always the most important aspect of any vessel’s safety program. The Liberty Star's professional crew is led by our US Coast Guard licensed captains who are all highly qualified professional mariners with a minimum of 720-days of sea-going experience on similarly sized vessels; this typically reflects 4-5 years of industry experience. We also carry a licensed mate with a minimum of 360-days of sea-going experience on similarly sized vessels.
What is the U.S. difference?
While each country has its own vessel registry safety and inspection requirements, they are not all created equal. Typically, European nations have a strong maritime tradition and maintain competitive safety standards with the United States. Most non-US flag vessels, however, are registered under a “Flag of Convenience.” Simply stated, this applies to those vessels under Panamanian, Monrovian, and other similar flags. There are many reasons to register a ship under a foreign flag including: avoidance of taxes, avoidance of liability for injury, lower labor costs, and lack of inspection and safety oversight to save money. Most developed nations maintain a watch-list for “flag of convenience vessels” visiting their territorial waters.
Below is a list of some basic safety requirements and inspection requirements for comparison.
|Safety Requirement||United States||Flag of Convenience Testing|
|Safety Inspection||USCG Annually||Typically “owner performed”|
|Hull Inspection||USCG Bi-Annually||Typically “owner performed”|
|Rig Inspection||USCG Bi-Annually||Never or “owner performed”|
|Crew Licensing||Strict: Experience & Testing||Pay for a License|
|Training Requirements||USCG Monthly Training||Typically “owner performed”|
|Ship Registry||United States of America|
|Certification||US Coast Guard Passenger Vessel|
|Vessel Rig||Gaff Rigged Topsail Schooner|
|Homeport||Boston,MA (Summer); St Thomas,USVI (Winter)|
|Length Overall||67 feet|
|Length of Deck||52 feet|
|Waterline Length||42 feet|
|Mast Height||76 feet|
|Sail Area||2,500 square feet|
|Gross Registered Tonnage||52 tons|
|Vessel Displacement||46 tons|
|Auxiliary Power||Cummins TurboDiesel 5.9L 210 HP|
|Hull||Oak and Mahogany|
|Deck||Douglas Fir and White Pine|
|Crew Complement||3 near-coastal / 7 offshore|
History of the Schooner Liberty Star
Originally christened the Rachel B. Jackson, the Liberty Star was commissioned in 1972 in Harrington, Maine as a private sailing yacht. Over the course of the following ten years, she had three owners, each of whom completed a portion of her construction. In 1982, a Maine shipwright named George Emery purchased the hull and completed the vessel. He named her in honor of his grandmother, who had lent him the money to purchase and complete the schooner.
Built as a working replica of an 1890s coastal schooner, her sturdy mahogany planking, oak frames, traditional pine and fir decking, shining brass fittings, and exotic wood cabinetry recall the workmanship of days gone by. She was originally put into service as a training vessel at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT. In the mid 1980s, the Seaport sold the vessel to a family who outfitted her and spent three years sailing around the world. Upon the completion of her circumnavigational voyage, she was sold to another family in Maine who took guests on day sails and also showed her at tall ship events. In 2000 she represented the state of Maine in the Tall Ships 2000 race from Bermuda to Boston, and then on to Halifax, Nova Scotia. At one point, the ship was chartered by the National Geographic Society to do whale research off the coast of the Dominican Republic.
In the spring of 2012, the Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships found the Rachel B. Jackson "well-used" in Belfast, Maine and decided to save the ship. On April 2, 2012 Liberty Fleet purchased the vessel and spent the next four months and 6,000 man hours rebuilding the ship. Restoration work was extensive, and included new decking, a new main-mast, replacement of the engine, drive shaft, and propellers, new electronic and navigation equipment, and new sails. Her interiors were also refit to include three cozy cabins for overnight accommodations. Liberty Fleet would like to especially thank master shipwrights Mike Rogers, Geno Scalzo, and Andros Kypragoras for their incredible work and completion of the refit.
The Liberty Fleet rechristened the ship to the Liberty Star, and held an official renaming ceremony for her complete with a bottle of rum and a tot for Poseidon himself!