John Rowlands, recent Chairman of the Ceredigion Family History Society, passionately argues that the coastal sloops of the first half of the 19th century were not just to serve local agriculture. They certainly had to source cargoes other than limestone and culm, as sloops could cost as much as £900 to build, and a mortgage to finance this was charged at six percent interest. Other goods imported included, tea, sugar, dried fruits, tobacco, wines and spirits as well as building materials. Research indicates that barring accidents, their owners prospered. Again, in the case of small local schooners, there is ample evidence that they went further afield than the Mediterranean and the Baltic. A case in point is the final voyage of the Aberdyfi-built, 80-ton schooner Sabrina. In December of 1881, this vessel captained by John Lewis, picked up a cargo of salt cod at St Johns Newfoundland. No sooner had she left to return home, than she was caught up in a hurricane. Over a period of a week, her sails were blown away and heavy seas swept away a ships’ boat, the galley and most of the bulwarks. The crew had to lash themselves to the rigging whilst trying to manage the ship. During the ordeal, one crewmember was washed overboard and drowned. They had to rig up a sea anchor by making a drogue from spare canvass to keep her into the wind, and about 40 tons of cargo was jettisoned to lighten the vessel. This proved to be insufficient, and another sea anchor was rigged using ninety fathoms of chain with a heavy spar at its end. The vessel was being pushed before the storm, losing its bowsprit and was nearly dismasted in the violent seas. With the seas abating somewhat, they rigged up a sail, slipped the sea anchors and proceeded slowly. As the water casks had been lost, water was rationed, and for over a fortnight the exhausted crew fought for their very lives. Nearly out of water, having been storm-driven across the Atlantic, they sighted land and hoisted a distress signal. The schooner Seaward took the crew off the wreck and they were landed in Ireland. The Sabrina was said to be worth £1,400 and the cargo £5,000. The latter figure indicates that they were brave and enterprising enough to seek lucrative cargoes; even risking crossing the Atlantic. The schooner Acorn, commanded by John Rees of Borth, went twice to the West Indies in 1868 to fetch cargoes of sugar. This schooner with a long association with the village, met an undignified end when she was sunk by German gunfire in 1917. This was a cowardly and despicable act.