Years ago,  while visiting the National Maritime Museum in SanFrancisco a to research MARTHA’s history I looked into B.B.(Bowdoin Bradlee)Crowninshield and J.R. (John Ryder)Hanify and their yachting history.

B.B.Crowninshield was un accomplished sailor from a prominent family in which sailing,  seafaring,  sea commerce and the navy played prominent rolls in their history.

Within the Museum there is a Loyd Register of House Flags, there was found the B.B. Crowninshield House flag which was the pennant B.B would fly at the mast head when he was on his boat.  There was also a J.R. Hanify House flag.

In fact most yachtsmen and yachtswomen had identifying flags.  Keep in mind, this is a time before radio, back when every proper commercial vessel and yacht communicated by signal flag.

Sometime it’s difficult to understand a  past tradition,  especially  when we have no frame of reference  as to how/why it became a tradition,  especially today with GPS , smart phones, AIS, Tweet, Chat, Facebook, Radar and a whole box full of electronic acronyms.

In the past, vessels not only signaled each other with flags, they could signal shore stations as well. the National Ensign, ” the U.S.Flag” flown from the Ensign Staff or Gaff Peak, would tell others, especially officials, that this vessel is a U.S flagged vessel, or French or what have you.

The Yachting Ensign

This flag displays a fouled anchor and thirteen stars in the canton and was created by an act of Congress in 1848 to be used by documented U.S. yachts. It was to relieve U.S.Yachts from clearing costumes every time they sailed from port to port in U.S waters.

Over the years we have wanted to have a ships pennant that would become a visual icon that is associated with MARTHA while acknowledging B.B. and his contributions to Naval Architecture and design.  In collaboration with local artist/ graphic designer Sara Felder , we have come up with the new MARTHA pennant, A “Crown-in-Shield”,   the mid  spire on the crown is a fluer de lis.

The Fluer de Lis, is a hat tip to J.R. Hanify as that was his house flag.

It was difficult to produce an image that would broadcast well on a battle flag, yet the image would convert well to a hat or shirt emblem.

So here it is, as seen here, to be used on Shirts and Hats. For a Ship’s pennant

Colored logo shirt and hats.

and on the “Battle Flag” with MARTHA name removed. A battle flag is flown pre race, it’s a colorful way to display the vessels iconic identity.

In our view MARTHA is a tribute to B.B.Crowninshield’s genius, and again thanks to Sara Felder  who captured the essence of the B.B.Crowninshield/MARTHA/J.R.Hanify connection.








As the curtain of 2016 draws to a close and we prepare for the upcoming 2017 season,  a point of interests emerges.

May 2017, MARTHA reaches 110 years of age! We are already 10 years into the next 100 years.

Even more amazing,  when you look at the photos below and remember how wonderfully capable MARTHA has become!

From her structural integrity to her sail training programs much has been done, learned and taught  over the past 20 years.

John Hanify at Wheel of Martha

John Hanify at Wheel of Martha 1907

It’s been a great adventure and has been made possible by the generous and caring people that make up MARTHA’s community!


For MARTHA’s 110th birthday she is receiving a full boat cover to ward off winters cold wet spell and should help reduce maintenance costs going forward.

We are also planing the future cabin top /cabin sides repair along with new port lights that should put MARTHA in great shape for the next 100 years.


Swiftsure Inshore Classic

Swiftsure Inshore Classic


MARTHA slicing through a pacific swell in 2015 Transpac

MARTHA slicing through a pacific swell in 2015 Transpac













Below is a video snippet of MARTHA enjoying some vigorous sailing during Round the County 2016.




So as tax season approaches, please think of MARTHA when you are planning your year end giving.

Support for  MARTHA can be General,  or if you prefer can be directed toward Maintenance or Youth Education Programs,

eventually we would like to start an Endowment to help support MARTHA’s future.

MARTHA enjoys over 2000 likes on her Facebook page

so imagine,  if each person following MARTHA donated $20,  that would fund MARTHA for the next year!

If we all put our shoulders to the wheel and give a little push it’s amazing what we can accomplish together.


MARTHA and her programs exist through the generous support from people like you!


Volunteers and Donors Make Restoration Work Possible

Volunteers and Donors Make Restoration Work PossibleMARTHA and her programs exist through the generous support of people like You!



Hand work on the North West Maritime Centers deck. Many thanks to the Maritime Center.

Hand work on the North West Maritime Centers deck. Many thanks to the Maritime Center.



White Cap Series Race 7
Team Martha Youth Program.

Season Closer: Round the County

The wet , wild and woolly Autumn weather is here and so is the annual RTC race. Thursday the 3rd we will finish up the last of the preparations to be ready for a Friday 0900 departure to Orcas Island.     The race will start at 0830 Saturday morning. The start line pin end […]

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  The MARTHA’s  educational sailing program introduces teens and adults to life aboard a classic schooner while sailing the iconic Pacific Northwest. On programs ranging from 3-day trips to 14-day voyages, teenagers and adults become full participants in the sailing of MARTHA: steering the vessel, raising the sails, standing watch and learning navigation. Participants are not […]

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Bronze Goodness

MARTHA has just received some new bronze hardware! But before we talk about the new,  we need little back ground info. Last year while sailing  the California Coast, one of our sailors, John Farrell, noticed a weighted bean bag hanging from the shifter and asked why was such a thing hanging there? I explained about […]

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.     We wanted to take the time to reflect on the effort and commitment that has  gone into the MARTHA program,  first to SAVE her and now to keep the MARTHA Program  SUSTAINABLE! In the beginning,  the task of saving her looked so enormous,  it seemed unreasonable to believe success was possible. We […]

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White Cap Series/ Bronze Anchor Roller

White Cap Series race 5 was a real hoot. Wind West 12 to 15 then 15 to 18 then a high of 28. The crew did a great job of keeping MARTHA in trim and rolling. We hit the Start line about a minute  late and fast. As we crossed the Start line at the […]

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The 2016 MARTHA youth sailing season is in full swing. This Spring we started with the Caitlin Gable school from Portland and have moved directly to the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s Whitecap Race Series with the Port Townsend School system OCEAN Class.  Friday, April 15, was some fine light-air sailing where the crew worked on […]

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Ocean Class / Whitecap Series

MARTHA started her Spring sail training with students involved with Port Townsend School District’s OCEAN Program.   We are participating in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s Whitecap Series.   Watch the city waterfront Friday evenings, races start at 6. We started with a dockside deck safety and line handling session and then a pre-race  afternoon sail […]

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MARTHA is getting ready for her 2016 racing season. Many ask about our racing program and seem a little surprised that Martha races not only in the local wooden boat races but also with the modern boats. Martha was designed and built as a racing yacht and has been involved in racing through most of […]

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