By: Scott Chambers
The celebrated Boston pilot schooner Hesper was designed in 1884 by Dennison J. Lawlor and built by Howard & Montgomery at Chelsea, Massachusetts. She was long considered the fastest pilot schooner in America and was the favorite opponent of every new schooner, yacht, or fisherman launched in Massachusetts. The 112' LOA, 93.99 ton boat was the largest in the fleet at that time, and she aroused much favorable comment at New York when her Captain sailed her over there to watch the Puritan and Genesta America’s Cup
race in 1885. The Hesper had unusually sharp lines; she was longer, and was deeper and narrower in proportion, than previous pilot boats. She was designed to have all her ballast, lead and iron inside; some years after her launching some was placed outside, on her keel. The Hesper had much influence on the Massachusetts-built fishing schooners and was one of the vessels that made depth, in proportion to length and beam, very popular in the New England fishing fleet after 1885, as well as in later Boston pilot schooners. The Hesper was sold by the pilots when old, and became a yacht for a few years; she was broken up sometime after 1910.