Reminiscing Schooner Suva


Vicki SchmitzThe Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation (CMHF) is honored to host a special evening filled with nautical history and a lively discussion featuring members of the Schmitz family who owned Schooner Suva from the 1940’s through the 1980’s. This public event will take place on Tuesday, June 14th at the Coupeville Library starting at 6:30 pm. Beverages and light snacks will be served.

Suva, a 91 year old, 68-foot long Gatsby-era schooner, has enjoyed a rich and storied past including sailing with top-tier businessmen and “Seattle’s finest” while moored at the Seattle Yacht club.  Although she hearkens back to a period in our history known for opulence, Suva bucked the trend with her understated beauty, utilitarian design, focus on cruising comfort, and use of durable materials, such as old growth Burmese teak and bronze, which has allowed her to withstand the test of time.

Come hear the true story about how Whidbey Island’s flagship, was purchased by the Schmitz family for a princely sum of ONE DOLLAR. Learn about the Schmitz family’s connection with Suva’s original owner, Frank J. Pratt Jr., a well-known business man, patron of the arts and attorney in Coupeville during the Roaring Twenties, and meet (and thank) the family responsible for the modernization and upgrades of our beloved Schooner Suva.

Suva is currently docked at the Coupeville wharf and is open for public tours and sailing.  Please check for more information. Suva spent last winter docked in Oak Harbor while several dedicated volunteers refurbished her teakwood decks, renewed upholstery, overhauled the electrical system, replaced fuel lines and attended to other much needed maintenance, all working towards the Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection.

Suva was purchased by the Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation in 2015, whose mission is to preserve the maritime heritage and traditions of Coupeville, Penn Cove and Whidbey Island through education and public awareness.  We invite you to learn more about the Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation, and schedule an upcoming sail on Suva at, or call 360-320-4337.  You may also follow us on Facebook.