S.S.S. Lotus

The S.S.S. (Sea Scout Ship) Lotus is a historic gaff rigged schooner located at Sodus Point in Wayne County, New York and is operated and maintained by Sea Scout Ship 303 of Webster, New York.

S.S.S. Lotus
Schooner Lotus at Mooring.JPG
Lotus at mooring in Sodus Bay, July 2007
S.S.S. Lotus is located in New York
S.S.S. Lotus
S.S.S. Lotus is located in the United States
S.S.S. Lotus
LocationKatlynn Marine, Inc., 7448 State Route 14,Sodus Point, New York
Coordinates43°15′59″N 76°59′29″W / 43.26639°N 76.99139°W / 43.26639; -76.99139Coordinates: 43°15′59″N 76°59′29″W / 43.26639°N 76.99139°W / 43.26639; -76.99139
Arealess than one acre
ArchitectHand, William H., Jr.; Zickes, Ted
Architectural styleAuxiliary Schooner
NRHP reference No.90000694[1]
Added to NRHPMay 10, 1990

History of LotusEdit

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. In 2017, SSS303 was re-invigorated by a group of sailors and re-chartered under the Newport Yacht Club in Irondequoit Bay. The Lotus is in process of being repaired to once again sail. [2]


Lotus is sailed by members of Sea Scout Ship 303 around all of Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay. Lotus visits many harbor festivals, and reenactments each year including Alexandria Bay Pirate Week, Oswego Harborfest, and reenactments in Sacketts Harbor.

Lotus has also participated several times in Operation Sail. She is currently in dry dock.



Lotus lowered into Sodus Bay, July 2007
  • Length : 48 feet (15 m) on deck, 60 feet (18 m) from the tip of the bowsprit to the end of the main boom[3]
  • Beam : 12 feet (3.7 m), 3 inches
  • Draft : 4 feet (1.2 m), 9 inches
  • Weight : 16 tons (approximate)
  • Total Sail Area : 950 square feet (88 m2)


  • Yanmar 88 hp (66 kW) four cylinder, turbo-charged diesel with sealed heat exchange


  • Masts : Sitka Spruce
  • Frames : Oak
  • Original Hull Planking: Long-leaf Yellow Pine
  • Replacement Hull Planking: Mahogany
  • Main Deck : Vertical-grain Douglas Fir
  • Cockpit Deck : Long-leaf Yellow Pine
  • Original Cabin tops : Canvas

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Lotus Website and original source of Lotus history by Anitra Setchell
  3. ^ Mark L. Peckham (February 1990). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Lotus". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2009-06-14. See also: "Accompanying five photos".

External linksEdit