Pirate Recovery ~ The Inception

For those with a desire to share in the hope and treatment for others

by  Pirate  Dan  Blevins  Catalano

Where it all started…

The “Sultana” was built in Half Moon Bay, Ca in 1968 by 3 naval engineers. Once the hull was completed it was moved to Brisbane, Ca to be fitted and remained in the San Francisco Bay area for many years as the “Sultana”, a replica of a the original was built in 1767 in Boston, Massachusetts and in 1768 was commissioned as (His Majesty’s Schooner) HMS “Sultana”. The original Sultana was a smaller coastal brigantine armed to defend the shipping lanes from smugglers (aka pirates). The Sultana’s smaller design afforded the vessel the ability to chase pirates into shallow and difficult areas making the Sutana a formidable adversary to evading pirates.  

Quote: “The sailors aboard the Sultana did not know that they were sailing into the headwaters of war or that they would play a part in the formation of a new nation” End Quote ~  Squalls Before War: His Majesty’s Schooner Sultana by Ned Bustard 

“Sons of Liberty” 1772 (Hmmm? Pirates ~ Every one!) leading to the American Revolution (a.k.a. pirates)  Sutana and Gaspee 2 of 6 Marblehead Schooners charged with pursuing pirates along the eastern seaboard.

For nearly 3 decades our Sultana from Half Moon Bay was used for children’s birthday party’s and private charters creating great memories for people! After the turn of the century the ship was bought and sold through years of new owners unfamiliar with vessels of the era. Sadly she started to decay and was falling apart into severe disrepair. After sitting for many years unattended in Brisbane, Ca she was towed to KKMI in Richmond, Ca to slap some paint on her bottom. The deterioration had reached an extent that the owner at the time had no idea how to fix the boat or even begin to restore her. He moved her to Sugar Dock in Richmond where once more she was left to deteriorate even further. Thoughts of scuttling her to become an artificial reef were tossed about. A sad fate for a majestic well built vessel!

I saw the Sultana on craigslist after Hurricane Irma claimed my previous vessel Queen Anne’s Revenge II in Key Largo on Sept 12, 2017. Queen Anne’s Revenge II was a gorgeous ship intended to run the gauntlet for Pirate Recovery however retrospectively there appears to have been a considerably larger grand plan afoot. Pirate spirits at work? A replica of a pirate chase boat on the Northern California Coast? Less than an hour from my hometown? Questionable chapter in pirate folklore? I like to think so. A year and five months ago on December 29th 2017 only 3 months following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma I purchased the “Sultana” for $1; towed her up the delta and thus began the restoration/transformation to the entirely new “Devil’s Gauntlet” authentic square rigged brigantine designed to chase pirates! People said “It would take ten years to restore the vessel”. Well ok then? 500 days later the ship is 98% complete with new everything top to bottom including new blood red sails and a shiny new 210 Turbo Cummins diesel engine & transmission! Applying old world knowledge, imagination and skills along with seasoned veterans and tradesmen with the right experience and trade skills “Devil’s Gauntlet” is set to embark on an adventure of a lifetime! All that remains is weaving & stitching the new hemp rat lines, hemp riggings and Norwegian pulleys and we are rough & ready to hoist the sails for Pirate Recovery! The pirate tales yet to be told are endless! The greatest adventure waits ahead just beyond the horizon! The silhouette of Devil’s Gauntlet blood red sails soon to be framed by fading sunsets.

Helping Veterans

What is Pirate’s Recovery?

The concept is simple. Give people a real world experience like none other by learning alongside people who’ve experienced events in their lives including the staff on the ship. Learn to live again through fierce magination and personal growth. Positive development in character that can be applied to real life. To be a pirate! “And who doesn’t want to be a pirate?”

With every step closer inspiration builds!

Pirate Recovery starts the day of boarding. Each person will start to learn about the vessel, about the key positions required to sail an authentic square rigged brigantine. Each day begins in full  pirate’s dress with a disciplined routine while trained staff work alongside to prepare practical  solutions to each personal tragedy. Being an actual pirate ship there’s an abundance of adventure, role playing, intuitive and interactive involvement. Much storytelling from a foregone era where heroes of the past overcame tragedy. It’s in the role playing, skill development and connections where real and lasting healing occurs. 

A bit of irony in the course of things as they’ve come about is that the original Sultana ~ one of the most documented vessels in US history was originally built to combat piracy ~ But then isn’t that how most pirate ships got their start? Pirate irony at its best!

Our dream is about to become a reality in your living room, on your computer and on your phone. We’ve poured our heart, soul and money into Pirate Recovery.  Be a part of something larger than life! Become a part of something extraordinary! We intend to film and document every day of this incredible adventure! You can see restoration of this beautiful amazing ship and the heights we’ve climbed to to achieve our goal! You will watch us help and teach real people! You will see our successes and our blunders! Your contributions will help us make this real life expedition of the heart, mind, body and soul on board the Devil’s Gauntlet a reality!

Poetically speaking a reversal of the Kings shilling in the bottom of a goblet!  

Being a Pirateon has pretty cool perks!  


Join us in our quest! Sultana

We are welcoming volunteers and donations to complete this project. 

Particulars: Length Overall – 91 feet Length on Deck – 60 feet
Displacement – 60 tons
Beam – 17 feet
Draft – 7 feet
Staterooms – 4
Full galley, two separate dining areas
Equipped with all modern convenience

Thank you for your support!