Mystic Seaport: Wooden Steamboat Sabino

Please Note: Sabino is presently undergoing a major restoration in the Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard and visitors can observe the work from a gallery above the shop floor. The majority of the restoration will be complete by summer 2016 when the vessel will be launched back into the water; however, Sabino will operate as a dockside exhibit for the foreseeable future until her boiler is replaced.

She’s 106 Years Young
And Still Got Plenty Of
Fire In Her Belly

For much of the 18th and 19th centuries the roads in America were, well…dirt. Often mud. And bridges, well, they just didn’t much exist. That made transportation difficult at best. So businesses moved their goods by boat along canals and rivers. While there were paddle wheelers on the Mississippi, along the eastern seaboard steamboats were the preferred mode of transport. In 1908, one particular steamboat was launched in Maine named Tourist, which was later sold and renamed Sabino.

Today, the Sabino, the last wooden coal-fired steamboat in operation in America, is a National Historic Landmark that regularly takes passengers out from Mystic Seaport. She has seen a century of activity, including sinking, being raised and subsequently running for more than 30 years along the coast of Maine. She’s been restored, but maintains her original Paine Compound steam engine. Today she hosts cruises at Mystic Seaport, and in July and August, special trips down the river to the beat of a Dixieland band.

For an up-close look at this American icon, head down to her home at Mystic Seaport.