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Santa Maria Manuela

Type  Gaff Schooner
 Year of built
 Flag Portugees 
 Length 67,4 meter
 Width 9,9 meter
 Draft 5,9 meter
 Heigth 36 meter
 Sail Area


This white Gaff Schooner stands out for her special hull and four masts. Her history is as remarkable.


She was originally built as a fishing vessel to fish around New Foundland for cod, traditionally a popular dish in Portugal. Together with other ships of the same type they formed a large fishing fleet. These Portuguese fishermen regularly fished even in the inclement waters around Greenland. During WWII all these vessels were painted white because Portugal (as one of the few European nations) remained neutral.  This way they could be recognised by submarines and hoped not to be attacked. The ships were also called the ‘White Fleet’. This fleet kept its traditional way of fishing into the 70s. After accession to the EU in 1986, the fishing quota for cod was lowered and many of the ships were scrapped including the Santa Maria Manuela. But the hull was well preserved. The steel was of a high quality because it originally was destined to become a warship.


In 2010 the ship was bought by its present owner and reconstructed in a record time of 62 working days to fulfil its new destiny sailing with guests/trainees. It has become a civilian training vessel frequently seen at big Sail events. The original hull was kept but the interior was completely renewed with very comfortable accommodation.


The ship measures a total length of 68.64 meters (LOA) and has a draft of 5.94 meters. She features a total of eleven front and aft sails with a total sailing area of 1,130m2.


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