Ship Model, Schooner HMS Berbice

This model represents a large American schooner of the late 18th century. At the time, farmers and fishermen in the continental colonies fed the residents of the Caribbean islands in exchange for molasses, sugar, and rum. The schooner was a very popular design in North America, as it was versatile, roomy, durable, inexpensive to build, and its peculiar rig was easy for a small crew to handle. This example portrays a typical schooner measuring 72 ft. 9 in. long by 20 ft. 8 in. in beam.
This ship was built in the Northeast sometime before 1780. That year, it was captured in the West Indies and bought by the Royal Navy for use as an armed tender operating out of Antigua, British West Indies. Renamed the HMS Berbice after capture, the schooner had a reputation as a fast sailer. It was condemned and sold by the Royal Navy on 12 September 1789.
Object Name
model, rigged schooner
Date made
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
textile (overall material)
metals (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 22 in x 29 in x 9 in; 55.88 cm x 73.66 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Revolution and the New Nation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL
Additional Media

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