Launched in 1986 in New Zealand and named for the heroine in Paul Gallico’s book, The Snow Goose, the 74 foot brigantine Fritha was built by traditional methods to unparalleled standards of excellence in materials and craftsmanship. Fritha is now owned and operated by Northeast Maritime Institute, one of the premier maritime educational institutions in the country.
Today, Fritha’s home waters of Southern New England offer some of the most beautiful scenery and best sailing in the world. Interesting ports or anchorages such as Buzzard’s Bay, the Elizabeth Islands, Vineyard Sound, Nantucket Sound and more are only a few hours’ sail from Fritha’s home port of Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Fritha also winters in the beautiful waters around Beaufort, North Carolina and has taken high school students on mariner programs from the local schools.
With a licensed captain and professional crew Fritha can accommodate up to six passengers and has been used for engaging, maritime education programming for both high school, private and the NMI college programs. Students challenge themselves learning traditional seamanship onboard. In addition to bringing subjects like science and math to life, the shipboard environment challenges students to work together, improves communication skills, stimulates critical thinking, builds confidence, and provides a safe environment to address feelings of inadequacy. Learning skills onboard a ship of the past truly helps build the skills and confidence to operate and maintain the ships of today and the future. The sailing aspect of the NMI college program is an essential part of their training and education for a successful career pathway. Activities in addition to sailing onboard include: Navigation principles (celestial and tech based), marlinspike seamanship/rigging, weather applications and oceanographic principles, engine room operations, maritime history, and daily ship routine operations. The experience of learning at sea is an educational adventure many students of all ages will never forget.