Adventure is a gaff rigged knockabout schooner. She was built in Essex, Massachusetts, and launched in 1926 to work the Grand Banks fishing grounds near Gloucester. She is one of only two surviving Grand Banks knockabouts – schooners designed without bowsprits for the safety of her crew. Adventure was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1994, underwent a substantial restoration in 2012, and sails today in the tourist trade out of Gloucester. Designed by Thomas F. McManus of Boston and built at the John F. James & Son Yard in Essex, Massachusetts, for Captain Jeff Thomas of Gloucester, Adventure was one of the last wooden sailing vessels of her kind built for the dory-fishing industry.
Adventure, named for one of the fantasy fleet of ships drawn by Captain Thomas's young son, is a knockabout (spoonbow) schooner, designed without a bowsprit for the safety of the crew. The McManus knockabout design was regarded by maritime historian, Howard I. Chapelle, as "the acme in the long evolution of the New England fishing schooner."Launched on 16 September 1926, Adventure measured 122 feet (37 m) from bow to stern, sported a gaff rig and carried a 120 horsepower (89 kW) diesel engine, and a crew of twenty-seven. She fished the once bountiful Grand Banks of the North Atlantic from her home port of Gloucester from 1926 to 1953 under Captain Jeff Thomas and later, Captain Leo Hynes. Adventure was the biggest money-maker of the time, landing nearly $4 million worth of cod and halibut in her fishing career. Her retirement marked the end of the American dory-fishing schooner in the North Atlantic. In 1954, Adventure was sold to Donald Hurd, Dayton Newton, and Herbert Beizer and refitted for the windjammer tourist trade, carrying vacationing passengers up and down the Maine coast. The fish pens were converted into cabins and the engine removed to make room for sleeping quarters. Adventure's prowess in the Gulf of Maine earned her the nickname "Queen of the Windjammers."