History of the Friendship Sloop
These beautiful boats were the original lobster boat! Fishermen worked under sail hauling traps by hand and made the Friendship Sloop a common sight on the Maine coast. Friendship Sloops were first built in Friendship, Maine during the late 1800s. The person to build the first Friendship Sloop is unknown today but it is said that the design evolved from the Muscongus Bay Sloop and the need for a more rugged vessel. The Friendship Sloop is extremely stable and has a great carrying capacity. Around the early 1900’s, Friendship Sloops were so common and useful on the Maine Coast, they became known as the pickup truck of the sea.
While not in regular use as lobster boats any more, yachtsmen kept the design alive because of their beauty, sail handling and stability. The friendship sloop makes for an excellent day charter vessel as well. They are still built in Southwest Harbor today. Sailing a Friendship sloop is an experience in both the local history and maritime heritage of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park.