Wisconsin's Official Flagship which highlights the ingenuity, labor force and the resourcefulness of Wisconsinites.
Discovery World's mobile ambassador, advancing our mission beyond the Great Milwaukee area.

S/V Denis Sullivan​ is owned and operated by
Discovery World LTD a 501 (c)(3)non-profit organization located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
500 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee,WI 53204
1(414) 765-9966
​fax 1(414)765-0311
​     The S/V Denis Sullivan is an educational tallship, providing an introduction to field science with an emphasis on environmental issues, Great Lakes concerns and stewardship of our natural world.

Sailing Vessel Denis Sullivan is the world’s only re-creation of a 19th century Great Lakes schooner and a floating classroom for water education programs. The S/V Denis Sullivan serves as a Great Lakes ambassador, enhancing awareness of the Lakes and freshwater issues on a large scale as it makes its experiential, educational sails through the Great Lakes region, the east coast, and the Caribbean.  

The S/V Denis Sullivan was launched in 2000 and is designated as Wisconsin’s Official Flagship. She has also been recognized by the United Nations as an ambassador of the World’s Freshwater concerns and for a true commitment to freshwater education on World Environment Day 2007. 

As an educational platform, S/V Denis Sullivan educators facilitate inquiry-based programming, such as Lake Watch Expeditions and Science Under Sail programs connect learners of all ages to the Great Lakes through the observation and investigation of this great freshwater environment.  

Mission Statement: "To provide programming that is an introduction to field science with an emphasis on environmental issues, Great Lakes concerns and stewardship of our natural world."
Photo Gallery
Student checking pH levels off of Door County.
Passengers helping to raise the fore sail (fores'l).
Student on forward look out.
Sullivan anchored off of Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas.
"Women at the Helm" program exiting Ship Canal
 in Sturgeon Bay with Pride of Baltimore II in 
the background.
Shipwright Peter Little and Shipwright Greg Moll making new mizzen mast in 2010.
Winter Mate Kent Gorham re-calking the quarter deck.
Elementary student learning to tie knots with a deckhand on a Dockside Discovery.
Sullivan heading to her new dock at Discovery World for the first time.
Bradley Tech Students from "Schooner Boat Works" program helping to teach a Dockside Discovery program to Trowbridge k – 8 Milwaukee Public School.
Bradley Tech Student from Schooner Boatworks 
program working on starboard engine fuel lines.
Sullivan sailing in a seaway in the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Adult Adventure program sailing under the Mackinac Bridge.
Shipwright Rob Stevens re-building the windless in 2004.
Sullivan sailing in Toronto Canada as Flagship for the ASTA Tallship Challenge 2010. Queen Elizabeth of England was present in the audience.
A student at the helm for a Science Under Sail program.
Sullivan entering in the first lock off of the Hudson River into the Erie Barge Canal system. Picture from Chris Hamm's collection.
Sullivan anchored off of South Manitou Island.
Ship Specifications
     The S/V Denis Sullivan is a re-creation of a typical 19th century 3-masted Great Lakes schooner. Her triangular sail on the upper foremast—the raffee—is a sail unique to Great Lakes schooners of the time. Schooners like the S/V Denis Sullvian were the common vessels on the Great Lakes from 1833 to the 1890s.

​The S/V Denis Sullivan's design was inspired by and based on five Great Lake schooners from the late 19th century: Moonlight, Rouse Simmons, Lucia A. Simpson, Clipper City and Challenge.

The ship is named after Captain Denis Sullivan, the owner and captain of the Moonlight in 1874.The Moonlight was said to the "Queen of the Lakes" because of the vessel's reputation of being the fastest and finest cargo vessel on the Great Lakes.

S/V Denis Sullivan's Specifications
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Over Night Participants 

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13.06 kts
97 tons
150 tons

4,597 sq. ft.
Oceanus Sail Cloth

White Oak Laminated Frames, White Oak Planking, White Oak Laminated Keel and Keelson, White Oak Ceiling

Douglas Fir Decking, Mahogany Clamp and Waterways

Fore Mast: Douglas Fir-  Main Mast: White Pine - Mizzen Mast: Laminated Douglas Fir - Booms, Gaffs,Bow Sprit and Staysail Club: White Pine - Main Topmast and Jibboom: Laminated Douglas Fir - Fore and Mizzen Topmasts: White Pine

Twins Cummins 6BTM 180hp each
Northern Lights M844LK 20kw

920 gallons
850 gallons
670 gallons
640 gallons

32 bunks
Up to 5

Timothy Graul of Marine Design in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin
Nicholas Miller, Peter Little and Robert Stevens
June 17, 2000
Small Passenger Vessel (Subchapter T) and Sail​ing School Vessel (Subchapter R)

S/V Denis Sullivan's year in review through the lens of a photographer
Thank you to everyone that donated or wanted to donate to the Sailing Vessel Denis Sullivan's new main mast ! 

The new mast is up and sailing. A section of the old main mast and mizzen mast have been returned to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin in the form of two benches so that every can enjoy the gift from the tribe.