Vela is the August classroom for the Coastal Cruising Seamanship course at the WoodenBoat School this year.

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She’s a 50-foot gaff-rigged sloop out of Sedgwick, Maine, that was launched in 1996.

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She’s captained by Havilah (“Haddie”) Hawkins II, a fourth generation schoonerman. He designed Vela and is teaching the course.

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The sloop is a broad (14-foot beam) vessel with an open deck that allows the helmsman a full view.

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“Vela” means “Candle” in Spanish, although we’re not sure why the boat was christened with that name. 

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(Brooklin, Maine)