Friendship Sloop Days
Friendship Sloop Days - Rockland, Maine
Friendship Sloop Days is an annual event that has taken place each summer in Rockland, Maine for half a century. It is sponsored by the Friendship Sloop Society. Sloops of the Friendship design, and their sailors, gather from all over the east coast to celebrate and commemorate the famous style of gaff-rigged sloop that originated in and is named for the small coastal town of Friendship, Maine.
Local fishermen in Friendship and Bremen designed the sloop circa 1880. The Friendship became the dominant style of lobster boats for Maine’s fishermen and remained as such until the early 20th century. The sloop was, and is, highly maneuverable and sturdy by design, thus making it perfect for the short voyages of fishermen. Today, the Friendship Sloop is a popular charter vessel. They are usually constructed of fiberglass, but some wooden models exist, as a reminder of a bygone era.
The photo opportunities are seemingly endless. Sloops compete in a race on the first two days of the event, and on the final day, sloops line up for the Friendship parade off the Rockland Breakwater. The breakwater, which extends for a mile out into the sea, is the perfect spot for watching and photographing the weekend’s events, though of course, gorgeous views are also available from shore.
During Friendship Sloop Days, the public is invited to attend the breakfast and skippers’ meeting each morning, and to visit the sloops that are docked at the Public Landing. Each evening offers a “bring-your-own” community barbecue under the tent.