Schooner Donated to ISEA Fleet


By next summer, members of the public will have the opportunity to clamor aboard the Utopia, a 65-foot schooner originally built in 1946. The owner of the Utopia, Ellsworth Peterson of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and Honolulu, Hawaii, recently donated the boat to the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA).

The Utopia will make its new home at Discovery Pier in Traverse City, Michigan. ISEA is currently waiting for a Coast Guard inspection before deciding how to use the schooner; however, the organization is considering making the Utopia the home base for an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) course for the public and school groups in 2017. ISEA is a non-profit with the goal of inspiring curiosity, stewardship and passion for the Great Lakes. The organization hosts hands-on, experiential learning activities aboard traditionally rigged tall ship schooners.

The Utopia was built in 1946 by Peterson Builders. Since it first set sail in 1947, it’s estimated the Utopia has traveled more than 60,000 miles, on cruises around the world and in several Chicago-Mackinac races. More recently, Ellsworth Peterson has used the Utopia to host non-profit events and receptions.

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