Historic Log Canoe Flying Cloud to Race Again

With the help of a new nonprofit and boating enthusiasts throughout the region, the legendary log canoe Flying Cloud will be returning to the racing circuit for the 2020 season. A group of individuals has recently formed the Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust, Ltd., a new nonprofit dedicated to organizing and financing the critical work required to return the historic log canoe to competitive sailing form.

“Significant work needs to be completed on her center log,” said former Flying Cloud owner Allan Noble. “This work is essential if we are to save her, which means we have more fundraising to do.”

The historic log canoe Flying Cloud will be returning to the racing circuit through the help of a new nonprofit dedicated to organizing and financing the critical work required to return the log canoe to competitive sailing form.
Photograph courtesy of Kathy Noble.

In 2014, Allan donated Flying Cloud to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels (CBMM). Due to the museum’s heavy shipyard schedule, the log canoe has recently been deaccessioned from CBMM’s collection. Now, restoration work on the historic boat will be expedited at a commercial boatyard in accordance with the U.S. Secretary of Interior’s guidelines for restoration of historic vessels.

Allan says the group has raised enough money to start the project and seeks to raise a total of $150,000 to fully fund the restoration. Work on Flying Cloud is currently underway at Campbell’s Boatyards in Oxford.

Flying Cloud was built on Tilghman Island in 1932 by the legendary John B. Harrison, who also built Flying Cloud’s sister ship, Jay Dee, a year earlier. Flying Cloud was designed to beat the best log canoes of the day. Her elegant lines, Honduran mahogany decks, and crew outfitted in white uniforms created a striking image on the water.

The last time Flying Cloud raced was in 2016. During that racing season, she experienced multiple failures of key components. Additionally, and as with all log canoes, time and the stresses of competition have deteriorated the logs of the hull, despite ongoing maintenance. Recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, Flying Cloud races under the No. 22, and is the second largest racing log canoe in existence today, measuring less than a foot smaller than Jay Dee.

Flying Cloud is an exceptional artifact of this sailing tradition unique to the Eastern Shore. Her careful restoration and return to the racing circuit is imperative if we are to preserve this piece of our maritime heritage,” remarked Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust President Ned Hennighausen.

The Trust is actively seeking donors, former crew members, and other interested parties to help bring Flying Cloud back to her place on the water. To make a donation or to volunteer to join her new crew, contact Allan Noble at Allan.noble22@gmail.com or Ned Hennighausen at ned.henn@gmail.com. The Flying Cloud Log Canoe Preservation Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with charitable donations tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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