The original Lynx, an American privateer, fought in the 1812 war until she was captured by the British. England was, at that time, engaged in a fierce war with French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. In order to stop neutral nations trading with France, the British seized ships and searched them for British sailors whom they then impressed into the British Royal Navy. The French also behaved in this manner. This action caused the Americans to declare war on England but not on France.
At this time the Royal Navy was "Master" of the seas while America had a navy of only 17 ships. To compensate for this disparity the United States licensed private merchant ships (called Privateers} to attack British merchant ships. A privateer was essentially a licensed pirate ship.
The original Lynx made only a single voyage before she was captured by the British in 1813. The British had a tradition of taking the lines of captured ships and it was mainly from these lines that the replica was built. She was launched on July 28,2001
The new Lynx is operated by the Lynx Educational Foundation which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to hands-on educational programs.
She visited Nantucket during Race Week (August 9 through August 18). In association with Egan Maritime Institute 4 Nantucket High School students joined the Lynx for a week long educational voyage when she left Nantucket.