Sails of Fundy: The Schooners and Square-riggers of the Parrsboro Shore


135 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-88999-239-8





Reviewed by William Andrews

William Andrews was a librarian at Runnymede Public Library, Toronto.


This small book is mainly for the specialist in the history of sail. Mr. Spicer, author of two general books on the square-rigged vessels built in the Maritimes, has here narrowed his focus to an area of the Fundy coast of Nova Scotia and to the last age of sail, the schooners. His intent is to recreate the flavor of the sailing days and to put them into perspective.

The book is divided into two sections: one general, the other specific. The general section — the first four chapters — may interest the casual reader; it is replete with the scent of the sea and is guaranteed to bring out the dreamer. It describes, anecdotally, the schooners, their crews, their freights, and their eventual fate both on the high seas and over time as schooners were replaced by the steam- and oil-powered vessels of today.

The second section, chapter five, is titled “A Comprehensive List of Vessels Built along the Parrsboro Shore, 1820-1920.” Here are listed the vessels, their names, who owned or built them, size, year built, and location of the shipyard of origin since records began along the Shore.

The bibliography is good for the size of the book, and there are 19 plates showing schooners and the men who manned them.


Spicer, Stanley T., “Sails of Fundy: The Schooners and Square-riggers of the Parrsboro Shore,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024,