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The Lynx as an Educational Tool

The Lynx is proud to partner with the Egan Maritime Institute of Nantucket, offering a combined curriculum called "Sea of Opportunities." This partnership likely provides unique educational opportunities for students and participants, drawing on the strengths and expertise of both organizations.

Finding alternate ways to supplement in-class lessons and motivate our children to stay engaged with learning was our goal. New ways to grab a young person's attention is getting harder and hard, especially when competing in the digital age. We wanted to shake up their digital realities with something bigger, better, natural, fast, and adventurous. Our answer — a 122-foot fully rigged sailing time machine.


Our time machine, the American Clipper Schooner Lynx, is more than just an authentic living history museum. It is a world unto itself. An open door to the past that invites the curiosity of our youth and gives them a gateway into sailing on the open seas.



Executive Director Don Peacock: 
Education Director LeeAnn Buse 

Dockside History Program Stations
All ages, 15-20 minute rotations, 1.5 - 2 hours

The Sea of Opportunities offers programming through the Egan Maritime Institute, made available to every Nantucket student at multiple points throughout the student's career. It strengthens the maritime workforce of tomorrow and opens doors for students to access opportunities in the coastal community.

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War of 1812

President James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, and a key figure during the War of 1812, supported the War Hawks, a group of Congressmen who advocated for war with Britain to defend America's honor and expand its territory.

One of the most famous privateers of the War of 1812 was the schooner Lynx, which was granted a letter-of-marque and reprisal by President Madison. This allowed the ship to attack British vessels and seize their cargo legally. Privateers were different from pirates in that they operated with the authorization of the government, whereas pirates acted independently and outside the law.

The British blockaded the United States during the War of 1812 to cut off American trade and weaken its economy. This led to battles like the one at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where American troops successfully defended the fort against a British attack. This event inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that later became the lyrics for the U.S. national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. After burning Washington D.C. in 1814, the British marched to Baltimore with the intention of capturing the city. However, American troops were prepared for the attack and successfully defended the city in the Battle of Baltimore. This battle, along with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, helped to bring an end to the War of 1812.


Life of a Sailor in 1812

Artifacts and authentic items are handed out as students enter the station area. Topics include punishing life of impressment, the capture of British merchant ships in privateering, pay, sailors' personal possessions, clothing, food, ditty bags, knives, spikes, and sailors’ fancy work.  Age-appropriate adjustments as needed.   

Corronades Defense of Ship & Sovereignty

Students line up in a loading drill and pass around authentic types of carronade ordinance as they enter the station area. Topics include Privateer carronade training, tools of the Privateer trade, and a carronade as one of the 1st scientifically designed weapon systems developed. 


Introducing S.T.E.M. - energy transfer on carronade design and effectiveness in battle.


Additional Stations as Needed S.T.E.M.

With STEM programming, students will cover the basics of saling including:

  • Blocks, tackle and the mechanical advantage station is a student tug of war on the shore near the ship.  Students experience the advantage of using a 4:1 system of block and tackle and the advantages of simple machines. The sailing program will add raising sails using block and tackle.

  • Simple/Compound Machines

  • Flags as Communication, Slogans and National Pride

  • Navigation Charts vs. Maps

  • Knot Tying 

  • Teamwork and Shanties

  •  Newton’s Laws and Bernoulli Effect in sailing

  • Basic Piloting

  • Buoyancy, Ballast and Ship Design

  • Earth Science - Weather/Climate

Sailaway Stations
6-12th grades: 2.5 - 3.5 hours,  ship sails in local waters

NOTE - much of the time is used to raise sails, there is a limit of three rotating stations including raising sails. Be sure to indicate in advance which two stations you want for your educational experience.



Haul Away! (one station) Students are divided into 2-4 teams and assist in raising sails. Captain may invite students to take the helm or other leadership duties.

War of 1812 Discuss President Madison and the War Hawks, the history of the original Lynx and President Madison’s letter-of-marque and reprisal, differences between privateers and piracy, why the U.S was blockaded by the British at Fort McHenry, and the inspiration of the Star Spangled Banner. Also, learn of the British marching to Baltimore after Burning Washington.   Materials: Portraits, Primary documents, Lynx’s Letter of Marque and Reprisal signed by President Madison, Treaty of Ghent, timeline, map of the British blockade of the U.S.

Life of a Sailor  Same as dockside.

Carronades  Same as dockside, six-pound carronade may be fired

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