General Patton Schooner Spending Summer in Hyannis

CCB MEDIA PHOTO General George Patton intended to sail the "When and If" around the world.

CCB MEDIA PHOTOS
General George Patton intended to sail the “When and If” around the world.

HYANNIS – Hyannis Harbor has welcomed a special visitor this summer.

World War II US Army General George Patton’s 63-foot Alden schooner “When and If” is spending July and August on the Cape and Islands.

The vessel was built in 1939 by Pendelton in Wiscasset, Maine and was meant to be sailed across the globe by the general and his wife.

“When the war is over, and if I live through it, Bea and I are going to sail her around the world,” Patton was to have said.

Patton was never able to fulfill his dream as he was killed in an automobile accident in Europe shortly after the end of World War II.

“His dream with it was to sail it around the world. The ship’s destiny is to do that and is unfulfilled,” said Captain Seth Salzmann. “So know we are the folks who are trying to put our energy and drum up the support to fulfill that.”

Salzmann and his crew are, for the first time, offering sails on the schooner to the public.

The “When and If” will possibly be taking trips from Hyannis Harbor through the end of August.

Doug Hazlitt, who purchased the boat in 2012, spent two and a half years restoring the boat and completed that restoration this past spring.

The Cape Cod Maritime Museum was instrumental in bringing the Patton schooner to the Cape for the summer.

“For many years now the inner harbor has not had a schooner tied up to our dock and it’s a shame,” said Cape Cod Maritime Museum Executive Director Chris Galazzi. “With that in mind we were looking for a way to bring a schooner to the inner harbor.”

Seth Salzmann docking the vessel on Monday.

Seth Salzmann docking the vessel on Monday.

Galazzi, who had sailed on the ship out of Martha’s Vineyard about five years ago, contacted Hazlitt about bringing the boat to Hyannis.

“[The harbor] has kind of turned to motor vessels and ferry services and this is to kind of bring back the age of sail a little bit to Hyannis,” said Salzmann.

Galazzi said the effort to bring the boat to the docks was a community effort.

The Scudder family, which owns Hy-Line Cruises made space on their dock available during the day where the ferry “The Lady Martha” is usually docked.

The museum was also allowed a temporary mooring for the ship at night with help from Barnstable Town Manager Thomas Lynch, the Harbormaster’s office and the Barnstable Waterways Committee.

Salzmann said the trips have been enjoyable for those who have taken advantage of the opportunity. There was even a visitor who had a connection to General Patton.

“We had one guy who was a World War II veteran who said he drove General Patton around in the Jeep,” said Salzmann. “He didn’t come out sailing but he came on the boat. But he was restricted in his mobility and it was a windy day and he refrained from sailing with us but he was thrilled to see the general’s boat.”

Those interested in sailing on the boat will find a daily schedule for the vessel and can book a trip at sailwhenandif.com.

The steering wheel includes the name of the ship.

The steering wheel includes the name of the ship.

Salzmann can also be contacted for trips at 305-587-3915 and by email at sailwhenandif@gmail.com

Prices start at $59 for the morning sail and $79 for the sunset sail and admission is half price for children under 12.

Salzmann said the vessel is also available for private bookings.

The “When and If” will be departing for Martha’s Vineyard at the end of the week and will be docked on the island until the end of July before heading back to Hyannis.

A fundraiser will also be held for the museum on August 4, with special guest Benjamin Patton, the grandson of George Patton.

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