ROCKLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) — The largest passenger sailing ship under a US flag will change hands Saturday. Captain Kip Files is selling the Victory Chimes to Captain Sam Sikkema.
Files took over the Chimes in 1988 when it was owned by Domino's Pizza. He renamed the boat Victory Chimes after another vessel which had been christened on Nov. 11, 1918, the last day of World War I. Church bells rang on that day to mark the end of the war and a writer proclaimed that the bells were "victory chimes."
Sikkema is a 30-year-old captain who has sailed passionately since graduating from high school.
"I really love the history aspect," Sikkema told NEWS CENTER Maine. "This country was built with these ships and that has always drawn me to the historical ships. The ones that are worth preserving."
The Chimes was built in Delaware in 1900. She is 127.5 feet in length and carries 40 passengers.
Files has skippered the Chimes for 29 seasons. Now 67, he says it is hard to walk away.
"It's tough. It's a great lifestyle I've met some great people."
Files, a native of Bangor and a passionate skier, will continue to do his television show on WSKI at Sugarloaf this winter.