From the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay, the body of water separating eastern Maine from western New Brunswick, Canada, boatyards launched hundreds of small craft for the sardine industry. Regina M., built about 1900, illustrates one of several different types of “sardine carriers” used in the Passamaquoddy and Fundy Bays to collect herring from fish weirs and transport them to canneries on shore.
When built, the owners rigged Regina M. as a sloop. However, as the internal combustion engine grew in popularity, many sardine carriers installed the additional power to combat the fierce tides found in Passamaquoddy Bay. By 1909, Regina M.‘s equipment included a seven horse power, “Fairbanks Motor Co.” engine that drove her at seven miles per hour.
In 1940, Mystic Seaport Museum added Regina M. to its collection of watercraft. However, before her arrival in Mystic, confusion regarding her true identity resulted in the conversion of her rig and hull shape to resemble a “pinky” (double-ended, two-masted schooner). The Museum’s restoration in 1992-1994 reestablished Regina M.‘s outward appearance to the way she looked between 1909-1924.