Small Ships

Denis Sullivan


The idea of building a sailing vessel in Milwaukee has started to take shape in 1989, after numerous enquiries from people interested in such an endeavor. The official keel laying ceremony took place in 1995 and in 2000 Denis Sullivan has left on her maiden voyage. Nearly 1,000 volunteers put together more than 900,000 hours of work, together with professional shipwrights, in order to make it happen. In her short life Denis Sullivan she has visited all five of the Great Lakes numerous times, and has even sailed to Florida and the Bahamas. In 2017 she will join the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation with dozens of other Ships.


Denis Sullivan is a three-masted schooner built in 2000. You can take part in a multi-day experience that promises not only Sail Training but also a rich eduactional program. Youngsters between 13 and 19 years old can join one her trips. On board the participants will learn about sailing techniques, weather forcasting and maritime history. She is a floating classroom, constantly raising awareness of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Her crew takes it upon themselves to educate the trainees about the environmental issues of the region.

Although a recration of the 19th century three-masted Great Lakes schooners, Denis Sullivan is a modern vessel with two diesel engines, a scientific laboratory, two computer workstations and modern communication and navigation equipment on board.

On board you will be part of the crew. You will take part in watch system, sailing the Ship together with professional crew members. You will handle the lines, set the sails and stand lookout.

Denis Sullivan regularly travels to different ports in order to participate in celebrations and events. This year she will join the 2017 Rendez-Vous Tall Ships Regatta.


Up to 21 trainees can stay in the Main Hold of the Ship. You will sleep in a single bunk with a privacy curtain, among your fellow trainees. There are shared toilets and showers on board and limited storage space.


Shipping type: Topsail Schooner 3
Homeport: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Date built: 2000
Restored: -
Capacity: 33
Length: 42 m
Beam: 7,3 m
Draught: 2,6 m
Sail: 427 m2
Height of mast: 29 m
Engine capacity: 2×180 HP