Ensign Restoration Program
The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (MCSC) is a 501 C (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote sailing and make Lake Michigan accessible through quality programming.
MCSC has begun the process of restoring its fleet of 30 Ensigns, many of them over 50 years old. MCSC has contracted Ensign Spars to perform this restoration, using the original molds to create new decks, and using as much of the original woodwork as is salvageable. The work is then completed by MCSC staff and volunteers.
Each Ensign will cost $15,000 to refurbish, and we are committed to restoring the first 10 Ensigns by the start of the 2020 sailing season. Your donation will help us achieve our goal of providing boats with the latest hardware, rigging and sails for our members today and for years to come. We also offer the opportunity to fund a complete boat or sponsor a boat (which includes your logo on its sail).
To take a peek at our first completed boats stop by the sailing center or call 414-277-9094 to arrange a tour or to learn more.
Carl Alberg's Ensign
The Ensign was designed by Carl Alberg and built by Pearson Yachts of Bristol, Rhode Island until 1983. From 1962 to 1983, Pearson built 1776 Ensigns. In the following 18 years the only Ensigns that were available were existing boats.
That all changed in the year 2000, when Ensign Spars, Inc. became the official licensed builder of the new Ensign Classic. Through a unique arrangement with the Ensign Class Association, Ensign Spars is the only official licensed builder of the new Ensign Classic. Built to original specifications, the Ensign Classic is the same boat Pearson Yachts built; a design that has lasted through the years, making old, restored Ensigns competitive with new Ensigns built by Ensign Spars.
Sailing Center Ensigns
The Ensign is the workhorse of the Sailing Center's fleet. With our comprehensive programming and an active membership, each Ensign sees at least 250 hours of use each season. With its full keel, large cockpit and basic rigging, it is a comfortable, stable and straightforward boat for learning to sail in a variety of wind speeds. The stability and endurance of the Ensign itself makes it the best choice for our instructional purposes on Lake Michigan.
The oldest of the MCSC Ensign fleet is Hull #14, Kiss My Stern. Other Ensigns in the MCSC fleet that are Classic include: 217 Liberty; 254 Jazz; 422 Murphy's Law; 423 Mellow Yellow; 452 Badger; 454 Fishhead; 464 Magic; 468 Sidestay; 572 Peter; 640 Hound Dog; 674 Sugar; 677 Pizazz; 705 Blue Moon; 751 White Cap; 761 (unnamed). The Late Classic fleet include: 1607 Spirit; 784 Raven; 787 Captain Hank; 793 Dream; 834 Big Foot; 926 Spray; 936 Summer Caper; 1050 Shamrock; 1083 Scrimshaw; 1114 Ghost; 1319 Holiday; 1282 Cloud; 1325 Relax. The remainder of the 30-Ensign fleet is of unknown construction date, as of this writing.