Shipboard Romance:
Victory Chimes, Maine

by Lisa Matte

Declare your love for one another in true maritime tradition when you share your wedding vows aboard Victory Chimes. Now over a century old, the graceful sailing vessel is a dream-come-true nuptial setting for couples who answer to the call of the sea.

Launched in 1900 in Delaware, Victory Chimes is one of about 30 ram schooners built in the region between 1889 and 1911. The 170-foot-long three-masted ship - the last of its kind still sailing on the East Coast earned her keep hauling cargo throughout the Chesapeake Bay for decades before she was rescued by her current owners, Paul DeGaeta and Richard "Kip" Files, in 1990 from the potentially dismal fate of serving out her golden years as a land-locked restaurant in Japan.

Files and DeGaeta share a love for Victory Chimes that's readily apparent to even the most casual observer. The co-owners campaigned diligently for nearly a decade to have Victory Chimes designated a National Historic Landmark. The National Parks Service finally bestowed that title on the schooner in 1997.


Last season, Capt. Files (who lives in Maine; DeGaeta is based in Florida) presided at the nuptials of three couples who chose Victory Chimes as the setting for their wedding ceremonies. A licensed notary public, Files dons "dress blues" to officiate during the shipboard exchange of vows. Just picture it. You in your long white dress billowing in a warm summer breeze.

The love of your life standing proudly at your side. Family and friends gathered around you on the deck of a beautiful century-old schooner. What could possibly be more romantic?

Victory Chimes sails from Rockland, Maine from early May through the last week of September. For more information, call 800/745-5651 or log on to


Copyright Lisa Matte

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