Maple Leaf

92-Foot Schooner

Maple Leaf is a classic, 92-foot schooner. She accommodates up to 8 guests in 4 semi-private sleeping areas, with a crew of 4 or 5.

About the Maple Leaf

Outfitted for Engaging with the Natural World

Maple Leaf is a classic, 92-foot schooner. She accommodates up to 8 guests in 4 semi-private sleeping areas, with 3 shared washrooms, and a crew of 4 or 5.

Maple Leaf is a sea-kindly vessel with a long range. She can take you to the coast’s wildest, remotest corners more comfortably and safely than most other vessels. Her sails and 40,000-pound keel keep her steady, and her crew’s warmth and culinary delights keep your soul soaring.

Experience Life Aboard Maple Leaf

You have access to sites, phenomena and people you cannot get on larger ships, often unable to access the special areas we take you. What’s more, you have access to this in a very personalized, human-scale manner.

Ship Features

Built of coastal Douglas fir, high elevation yellow cedar and mahogany, Maple Leaf is a tough expedition vessel and a work of artistry.

    A Classic Wooden Sail Boat

    Her curved deck planks, mahogany and glass butterfly hatches, fir beams, mahogany cabinetry and the sweep of her long cap rail are a pleasure to look at.

    Modern Comforts with Edwardian Elegance

    Maple Leaf’s interior is in harmony with her heritage: modern conveniences and good space design, melded with a decor that nods to her Edwardian past.

    Dining Lounge

    Unwind with books, journaling, and conversations in our cozy onboard library and dining lounge. We dine on deck or in this lounge, depending on the weather.


    From the tiny galley, Maple Leaf’s chefs produce incredible meals and snacks fresh each day. Enjoy fine meals and discussions about the day’s adventures with the crew and naturalist.

    Wheelhouse Lounge

    The captain and first mate skillfully navigate and plan routes here. They’re happy to share insights and explain the systems. This space features natural history guidebooks and showcases mahogany and Douglas fir craftsmanship that shines throughout the vessel.

    Sleeping Areas & Heads (Bathrooms)

    The main cabin accommodates eight guests with divided sleeping areas, each featuring large comfortable beds, storage space, reading lamps, and cozy bedding. There are three washrooms with hot water showers.


    Maple Leaf has lots of deck space, on which people may choose to sit and watch the coast’s scenery, chat with others, steer the ship, or have quiet time alone.

    Shore Boats

    Our two zodiacs provide ample space and great access to explore along shorelines, up rivers, near wildlife colonies, and onto beaches. 


    While at anchor, enjoy one of our two single kayaks. The kayaks are stable and easy to use, with assistance from crew getting in and out. 

    Fishing Tackle

    We have fishing rods and lures ready for jigging. Obtain your fishing licence prior to your trip and take a turn at jigging for halibut or lingcod.

    Other Equipment

    The ship provides guidebooks, visual aids, and a hydrophone to listen to whale sounds, enhancing appreciation of local flora, fauna, and marine phenomena.

    Upper Deck

    Lower Deck

Sleeping Areas

Semi-Private Sleeping Areas

The spacious main cabin is airy and divided by half-walls and heavy curtains into four berths, providing sleeping accommodations for eight guests.

Each area contains large comfortable beds (six and a half feet long), space for your belongings, brass reading lamps, fluffy duvets and blankets. They have walls on two-and-a-half sides and thick, heavy curtains on the other one-and-a-half sides.

There are three heads (washrooms) aboard, all with hot running water and shower conversions.

If you are a solo traveller, you will be sharing one of the quarter berths with a same-sex solo traveller or you will be placed in our comfortable wheelhouse accommodations. Or, depending on the make-up of guests, our wheelhouse lounge seats convert into comfortable beds.

Under Sail

A Great Sight at Sail, an Even Greater Feeling

With thousands of square feet of canvas (or, dacron), the Maple Leaf is a joy to sail. You are welcome to help with sailing and taking the helm under our crew’s instructions. We are patient teachers and delight in helping people learn. On the other hand, you are not required to sail or perform duties while you are on vacation. The choice is yours.

Maple Leaf is a schooner, meaning that her aft mast is taller than her foremast. She has five sails: main sail, foresail, staysail, jib, fisherman.

Physical Eligibility

Mobility Requirements Aboard Maple Leaf

To fully enjoy your experience aboard Maple Leaf, there are a few physical requirements to keep in mind. To enter and exit the dining lounge and sleeping areas, you will need to be comfortable climbing a steep ladder-like staircase with handrails. Her interiors feature narrow passages, inviting you to adapt and embrace the authentic small ship experience.

Exploring the coast’s picturesque surroundings often means venturing onto a zodiac. With a helping hand, you’ll need to be able to comfortably step into and out of the zodiac from the ship’s deck or onto a beach with no docks. Disembarking the zodiac involves sitting on the side of the pontoon, swinging your legs over the side, and standing up, with assistance from your crew.

The Maple Leaf is a very comfortable ship that welcomes guests of all ages, though if you have a physical limitation, you may consider Swell or Cascadia as more accessible options. For more guidance on the mobility requirements of our trips, visit this article.

History of the Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf’s History Chronicles Wars, Fishing and a Remarkable Rebirth

Maple Leaf, BC’s historic tall ship, was built in 1904 by William Watts in Vancouver Shipyard. Initially a private yacht for Alexander Maclaren, she boasted the title of the most expensive pleasure craft on the Pacific Coast and was the first ship north of San Francisco with electric lights and an external lead keel.

During the First World War, her lead keel and brass were stripped for the war effort, leading to her conversion into a halibut fishing vessel. For two decades, she fished under famous fishing companies such as Gosse and Millerd and the Canadian Fishing Company.

Purchased by Harold Helland in 1938, Maple Leaf, renamed Parma, was completely rebuilt during World War II. Harold, along with a dedicated crew, fished for halibut in the treacherous Bering Sea until the mid-1970s, consistently surpassing newer vessels in performance. Harold maintained his ship in Bristol condition until his retirement in 1978, when she was sold to the Canadian Government.

In 1980, Brian Falconer and Susan Tweedie restored Maple Leaf to a sailing ship, uncovering her original hull lines and re-registering her. From 1986 to August 2001, Brian, Susan, and later Brian with partner Erin Nyhan, operated Maple Leaf Adventures, providing natural history and cultural trips along the BC and Alaska coasts. They also ran the Tall Ship Program for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, training over 3,000 cadets from across Canada.

Since 2001, Kevin Smith has led Maple Leaf Adventures, garnering recognition from National Geographic, Outside magazine, and winning awards for sustainable tourism. Kevin and Maple Leaf have continued her tradition of helping to protect the places of the coast, including bringing places like the Great Bear Rainforest to international media audiences. The ship continues to be meticulously maintained, drawing admiration at tall ship festivals.

Maple Leaf: A Timeline
  • 1904: The Coast’s Most Expensive Yacht
  • 1914: The War Changes Maple Leaf’s Fate
  • 1938: Fishing For Halibut In The Bering Sea
  • 1980: Maple Leaf Sails Again

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