On December 14th, The Friends Of The Schooner Lotus (FOTSL) purchased the boat from the Seneca Waterways Council. On December 21st, the LOTUS was transported to Beacon Bay Marina in Cayuga for indoor winter storage and assessment. Cayuga Wooden Boat Works at the same location will provide FOTSL with estimates of a series of repairs and restorative work so fundraising can begin. CWBW is willing to begin work very soon when funds become available. Please help us get her back in the water soon!
History of the schooner LOTUS
The keel on Lotus was laid down in 1917 and the boat was completed in 1918, in Rocky River, Ohio. Designed by the naval architect William Hand Jr. in 1916, and christened with the name of Miss Gloucester, she was designed as a pleasure yacht for sailing on the Great Lakes.
As Miss Gloucester, she was commissioned by Thomas B. Van Dorn, to be the Van Dorn family yacht. The Van Dorn family sailed her on Lake Erie and perhaps Lake Huron.
In 1922, the ship was sold to Stephen Estes Comstock of Newark, NY. He moved the ship to Sodus Bay, on Lake Ontario, and renamed her Lotus, after the wild water lilies that grew in the bay.
Lotus was sold again in 1938, to Dick Todd and Ken Cooley. They renamed her again, this time to Dickens, a combination of their first names.
In 1943, Ezra Hale and his partners bought the ship and changed her name back to Lotus. Ezra Hale and John Trahey donated Lotus to the Otetiana Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 1971, specifying that Sea Explorer Ship (now Sea Scout Ship) 303 be the ones to use it. The Sea Explorer Ship 303 had begun in 1965, and used a variety of power cruisers before the Lotus was donated.
Unfortunately, it was difficult to keep up with the required maintenance and by 1991 Lotus needed serious restoration. With the support of sponsors the Webster Kiwanis, the money was raised for a restoration, soliciting donations from individuals and corporations. A matching funds grant was also received from New York state, which brought the total amount of money raised to $150,000.
Lotus was trucked to Rivendell Marine, in Rhode Island, in 1991. The refit was complete in 1993, and should see Lotus well into her 100th year.
Pictures of the schooner LOTUS during it's time as SES LOTUS (Sea Explorer Ship - 1971 to 1998) and SSS LOTUS (Sea Scout Ship - 1998 to 2020). Sea Scout Ship 303 is currently sponsored by the Newport Yacht Club on Irondequoit Bay.