• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.

    Biscayne

    National Park Florida

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  • Boat Tours, Paddle-craft Rentals and Select Conveniences Temporarily Unavailable

    Glass-bottom, snorkel, diving and island boat tours, and rentals for canoes and other paddle-craft, are temporarily unavailable. The park is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and regrets the inconvenience. Limited snack items are available.

19th Century Wooden Sailing Vessel

A sandy, grassy bottom scattered with loose ballsat stones.
All that remains of this wooden sailing vessel is the pile of ballast stones that once helped her maintain stability in rough seas.
 
  • Built: Unknown
  • Sank: Unknown
  • Route: Unknown
  • Wooden sailing vessel

Very little is known about the site commonly called the "Schooner Wreck," and, in fact, it is not clear whether the ship actually was a schooner or if the term was generally attributed to a shipwreck of unknown type or origin. The site contains little evidence of cargo and, like most of the historic wrecks in Biscayne National Park, the ship was likely salvaged after sinking. The ship's stone ballast is basalt, though its exact origins are unknown. Ballast is not a unique marker for a ship's origin or even for its last port of call, as it was commonly loaded and offloaded as needed. Ballast was often moved from one ship to another and was frequently shared after offloading between two or more ships for ongoing voyages.

The presence of rigging elements and iron fasteners throughout the site, as well as the size of the ballast piles and remaining wooden structural elements, points to a small to medium sized sailing vessel from the 19th century. She probably represents a fairly typical working sailing vessel from the Florida Keys. Her port of origin, destination, and the fate of those on board are, at this point, unknown.

Did You Know?

Wreck of the <i>Mandalay</i>

Biscayne National Park's Maritime Heritage Trail is the only underwater archaeological trail in the National Park System. The "Shipwreck Trail" includes six wrecks spanning a century of maritime history. More...