Conch Republic Flagship
The WOLF is a classic 74' topsail schooner built in 1982-1983 in Panama City, Florida by Master builder Willis Ray and Finbar Gittelman, Admiral and First Sea Lord of the Conch Republic. Designed by Merit Walter, the WOLF is a Norfolk Rover class steel hull schooner.
Home ported at Key West's Safe Harbor Marina on Stock Island, the vessel is owned and operated by Key West Packet Lines, Inc.
In 1984, the newly constructed Schooner WOLF arrived in Key West under the command of Captain Finbar Gittleman. In the absence of the Schooner WESTERN UNION, she accepted the role of flagship for the great battle for independence against the U.S. that year. Victorious, she was officially designated the new flagship of the Conch Republic, a duty she has performed admirably since, leading the last all privateer, mostly sail propelled navy in the world in defending the Conch Republic from "key to shining key."
As the Flagship of the Conch Republic and the City of Key West, the WOLF is patterned after the blockade runners that plied the waters of the Florida Straits, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in the 19th century. U.S.C.G. certified for 44 passengers for day sails, 20 passengers coast wise and six passengers for international voyages, the WOLF has a cargo capacity of 20 tons and provides an ideal setting for dockside receptions, day sails and sunset cruises.
The WOLF has been operating in Key West for twenty-five years and has come to symbolize the essence of that “island spirit” which draws visitors from all parts of the world. The WOLF often serves as lead vessel in local harbor parades and traditional events, including the Conch Republic Independence Celebration's Great Battle, the Conch Republic Fourth of July Naval Parade, and Key West's Pirates in Paradise Festival. Over the years, the WOLF has attended numerous seaport festivals, including Hampton, Virginia's 1985 Harborfest; OpSail Miami 2000; Cayman Islands' Pirates Week Festival 2000; Tampa's 2001 Gasparilla Festival; Americas' Sail 2002 (Port Antonio, Ochos Rios and Montego Bay, Jamaica and St. Petersburg, Florida); Sail Mobile Tricentennial Celebration 2002; Cayman Islands Quincentennial 2003; Fort Myers, Florida's 2005 Lee Island Pirates Festival; Green Turtle Cay, Abaco Bahamas 2006 and 2007 Island Roots Heritage Festivals; Beaufort, North Carolina's 2006 Pepsi Americas' Sail; and most recently, the Oceans Institutes World Oceans Conference in St. Pete, Florida.