1902The first knockabout schooner was built in Essex and designed to improve the safety of fishermen.Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry

McManus, Thomas F., Half Model, Fishing Schooner Helen B. Thomas, 1901, Wooden model, National Museum of American History, https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_844112
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Thomas F. McManus, a naval architect in Boston, adapted an idea from sailing yachts to fishing schooners. He eliminated the bowsprit, (the spar projecting forward from the schooner’s bow) so that fishermen would not have to clamber out on the bowsprit to tend the jib. The Helen B. Thomas was launched in 1902. This schooner design became known as the “knockabout.”

National Museum of American History. “Half Model, Fishing Schooner Helen B. Thomas.” https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_844112.
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