This Schooner Equator model ship itself was built as a South Seas copra trader, making it the ideal model to showcase if you are looking for something historical and educational to display. We’ve hand-crafted this remake of the Schooner Equator to ensure that it looks as close to the real model as is possible. Every effort and care has been taken to ensure authenticity, realism, and historical accuracy in every last section of the ship model itself.
It would be more impressive to display your Schooner Equator model ship in a hardwood & perspex display cabinet specially designed for tall ship replicas.
The schooner Equator was designed by shipwright Matthew Turner and built at his yard in Benicia, California, for Wightman Brothers, commission merchants, of San Francisco. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Turner was the most prolific builder of wood sailing vessels in the United States. The schooner, small at around 70 gross tons, was intended for the copra trade between the U.S. West Coast and the islands of the South Pacific. It entered this service in June 1888 under Capt. Edwin Dennis Reid and continued running to the South Seas through the end of 1895.
The Equator sailed from San Francisco June 2, arrived off Honolulu nineteen days later, and departed with the Stevenson party for the Gilbert Islands on June 24. The vessel called at the islands of Butaritari, Marakei, Abaiang, and Abemama in turn, and Captain Reid left Stevenson and his family on Abemama for nearly two months, picking them up again in late October and carrying them via Butaritari to Apia, where the Equator left them for the last time. A month later Stevenson had purchased an estate outside Apia, which eventually became his home and final resting place. Events from the Equator cruise are described in Stevenson’s 1896 book In the South Seas as well as in many letters, and it was during the party’s stay on Abemama that he and Osbourne started writing The Wrecker, published in 1892.
The Equator remained a Pacific trader until 1896, when it was sold to Joseph Hume, a member of the Hume family that owned significant salmon packing operations in Alaska. Hume’s firm sent the schooner to the Gulf of Alaska in the summer of 1896, and it returned to San Francisco with 1,612 cases of salmon from Chiquik Bay at the end of July.
The Equator remained an Alaskan cannery tender until 1915, passing with other Hume properties into the ownership of the Pacific Packing and Navigation Company in 1901 and then about 1904 to the Northwest Fisheries Company of Seattle. The Cary-Davis Tug and Barge Company, also of Seattle, purchased the Equator in 1915 for use as a tug.
By 1940, the Equator’s second engine was worn out, but its hull remained sound. After almost a year laid up, the vessel was thoroughly overhauled in 1941, work that included installation of a new 250-hp diesel engine. With this engine the boat remained in service. Until 1956, when it was finally abandoned along the jetty at the mouth of Snohomish River at Everett, Washington.