The Gilbert Klingel Project

Breaking News!

Freya Homecoming Celebration on June 3rd!

Everyone is welcome to join the Freya homecoming celebration at Gwynn’s Island Boat Yard on June 3rd. This is a free event that will begin at 2:00 PM. Other details can be found at the MCVIC website.

Freya Gwynn's Island

Freya is home!

Freya Returns to Gwynn's Island
The sailboat Freya returns to Gilbert Klingel’s historic boatyard on Gwynn’s Island, Virginia.

Supporters welcome Freya.

Freya Sailboat Welcome Party
During the Freya Homecoming Celebration (June 3, 2017), a welcome party is gathered to greet boat and crew.

Freya Journey Completed!

The Freya completed her journey home to Gwynn’s Island, Virginia on May 28th! Read more about the Freya Project.

Feya Sailing Chesapeake Bay
During the final leg of her May 2017 voyage from Florida, the Freya sails on the Chesapeake Bay near Gwynn’s Island, VA. Photo © John Tobin/

More News . . .


Welcome to the Klingel Project’s new website!

Flamingos in flight

In addition to preserving the history and legacy of Gilbert Klingel, this project is dedicated to engaging with the community. We are excited to work with partners such as the Mathews Maritime Foundation (MMF), Gwynn’s Island Museum and many others who have a special interest in maritime history, education and the Chesapeake Bay.

This website is currently in it’s infancy, so please don’t forget to return and see what’s new. Here’s a general outline of future plans . . .

  1. On this website, we will be publishing comprehensive documentation of Gilbert Klingel’s life and achievements. This component will be led by his daughter, Marcy Benouameur, who is now retired from the Smithsonian Institute and living in Mathews County, Virginia. She has been compiling and organizing historical information and photographs for many years, so we are very excited about what’s to come!
  2. We will be posting articles about the Freya, which is a steel-hull sailboat built on Gwynn’s Island during 1953. Freya is one of the few surviving boats built by Klingel, and was generously donated to the MMF during 2016. As of this writing, she is moored in St. Augustine, Florida, and will begin her journey back home mid-May 2017. She has undergone major refitting in Florida, and with your help, will be fully restored and maintained by the MMF following her arrival.
  3. Dave Miller of Miller Productions of Virginia is producing a documentary film “Gilbert Klingel: Man of Steel”, which will include a segment about Freya’s return home. PBS will air this film, and we will keep you updated on news and details.
  4. We are also working with young people in the community by collaborating with students at Mathews County High School and helping to establish a Sea Scouts base in the county.
  5. Finally, we thank you for visiting and encourage you to get involved or donate to our projects.

Gilbert Klingel ospreys

Basilisk on the Chesapeake Bay
The Basilisk pictured with sails up on calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay during 1930.

Mathewtown, Inagua Island 1931

Inagua native woman cooking

National Geographic & Aquascope

Aquascope Chesapeake Bay

See more Klingel historical photographs.