LOA: 75 feet

LOD: 65 feet

Beam: 16 feet

Sails: Main, Foresail, Jib, Genoa, Staysail, Spinnaker

Gross Tons: 41

Net Tons: 36

Speed Under Power: 7 to 9 knots

Max Speed under Sail: 12 knots

Draft: 9 feet

Ballast: 20 tons

Fuel Capacity: 500 gallons

Freshwater Capacity: 470 gallons

Engine: Yanmar 4 cylinder marine diesel, 125 horsepower

Builder: Custom Steel Boat, Merritt, NC

Boat Specifications



Eliciting the feel and romance of a bygone era, the Schooner Grand Nellie is a modern-day schooner offering the conveniences and comforts of a well-designed passenger ship while offering the spirit and lines of a classic schooner. Conceived as a boat designed to help young people learn to sail, the Schooner Grand Nellie today continues that tradition from her home port on Stock Island, the first key north of Key West, FL.

Originally owned and built by Jeffrey and Ellen Troeltzsch, the Schooner Grand Nellie was named in the honor of their grandmother. Designed to take young people out to sea for months at a time and teach them the skills needed to become adults. She was built in 1998 by Custom Steel Boats, a family-owned business specializing in steel and aluminum yacht construction, in Merritt, NC.

Immediately after her official launch, the Grand Nellie sailed to the Chesapeake Bay to sail in a race. Shortly afterward, Nellie sailed to in St. Thomas, where she was associated with some of the largest hotel brands in the world and took thousands of people out for sunset sails around the Caribbean. She worked at various ports of call in the Caribbean and Bahamas before heading off to a new adventure: participating in and winning numerous schooner races across the Northern Atlantic, including transatlantic races to Finland.  Grand Nellie holds many trophies for her accomplishments in racing. The ship was then donated to the non-profit Associated Marine Institute (AMI) in Panama City, which sold the ship to help raise money for its programs which help troubled young people discover their potential.

The Schooner Grand Nellie found her new owner in St. Petersburg, FL. Ron Parfitt purchased the Grand Nellie in 2009, an answer to a five-year dream he’d had, to create an on-the-water sailing camp experience for training kids and adults – and instilling them with newfound confidence and skills.

Today the Grand Nellie makes her home on Stock Island, the first key north of Key West, at the Safe Harbor Marina. She has taken countless people to sea for sunset charter sails, weddings, day-long excursions to the reef, on multi-day island tours and adventure sails around Floridian waters. She is still invited to participate each year in numerous schooner races, but instead prefers to stay at her home port for the ship’s yearly sailing camps for children.

Explore the Nellie