The quote that follows is by Francis MacLachlan as an unedited note to go with the little schooner. A have been working with him over the the last year annotating photographs, curatorial style. He is now over 90, brimming with ideas and thinking of the future when five, ten, fifty years from now there will be an interest in a sailing vessel for youth training.
“While sitting around the wardroom of HMCS Cataraqui in Kingston we heard of a little cargo schooner, cheap that was available in New Brunswick. So we took the train in the fall of 1952 and had a look at the schooner on the beach on the Bay of Chaleur. Gordon Workman in the picture. She was in sad shape so we said to each other, do not buy her. Gordon tells me that on the way back on the train he got me to sketch a training vessel, I do not remember this but that is what he tells me. We immediately went to steel. I think I sketched a brigantine under the influence of Irving Johnston and his brigantine Yankee.
Outward Bound – climb mountains, go out in square riggers, these were approaches to youth leadership training. What we were not looking for was an old beaten up for and aft rigged wood schooner. This got me started thinking about designing our own training ship.
When I got back to Kingston I started talking to Mike Eames, a fellow naval architect about it. By the end of 1952, maybe early 1953 we had the design for what became the St. Lawrence 11 settled”.
It is this event in 1952 the gave birth to the Brigantines St. Lawrence 11, Pathfinder and Playfair.