Black Dog’s Shenandoah is for sale

The Shenandoah has been part of the Vineyard Haven Harbor seascape since 1964, but is up for sale.

The schooner Shenandoah, built for Capt. Robert Douglas in 1964 based on his design, is for sale. According to an advertisement published in Boats and Harbors and posted on Facebook by Marlinspike Magazine, the schooner is for sale for $850,000. The Shenandoah underwent a major rebuild in 2008, according to the ad, and in 2017 a rebuilt mast was installed on it.

The potential sale of the vessel in no way impacts the Martha’s Vineyard Sailing Camp or the School Sailing Program, according to Capt. Morgan Douglas, who operates Black Dog Sailing. Since the mid-1990s, fifth graders from all the Island schools, and now the Charter School as well, have enjoyed weeklong sails aboard Black Dog sailing vessels.

“A full generation’s worth of Island kids have sailed on the Shenandoah,” he said.

Come what may, the other great vessel of the Douglas family, the Alabama, isn’t going anywhere. And according to Douglas, for the time being, the Shenandoah isn’t necessarily going anywhere either.

The ad is meant to see what interest might be garnered and to “give some of the planning we’ve done some direction,” he said.

The Marlinspike Magazine Facebook post has gotten 10,000 hits and dozens of comments since it was posted 17 hours ago, including some questioning the price tag for a wooden vessel with no engine. “I love wooden boats! I love looking at them, I love talking about them, and I especially love that I don’t own one,” Will Williams wrote.

Lynne Fraker, a Vineyard Haven captain who shared the Marlinspike Magazine post, called it the end of an era. “Thanks Bob, and the Douglas family. So many great memories and stories! So much of Island history! I hope you find the right new owner!” Fraker wrote.



  1. End of an era is right! I admit I love Shenandoah! I often go down to the harbor just to see her, how she lays, whether anchored out or in close. I can’t help constantly taking photos of her, especially when passing close on the ferry. I was lucky enough to help a bit with the new mast installation. I have done numerous drawings of her, and some archival oil paintings (one is at Island Art). She sneaks into random paintings sometimes, even where she doesn’t belong, like the harbor on Monhegan Island. I generally like to paint fairly large, but she sneaked into the background of a tiny oil on OP linen painting I did a couple days ago.

    If she leaves, I will sorely miss her beautiful lines! Thank you Captain Robert Douglas for the gift of her thrilling presence all these years. She has become a Vineyard Haven icon!

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