In a Massachusetts town of 1832, young Toby yearns to find his father, lost on a Boston voyage on the full-rigged Top Gallant. Contending with small town politics and a breathtaking sea, Toby faces one dangerous setback after another. A demonic Aunt Cecilia threatens to auction Toby as an apprentice, while her light-hearted pursuer, Mayor Risello, rescues Toby from being purchased by a vengeful Captain Mardocke. Devil-may-care Susanna first bewitches Captain Mardocke, then is swept away by the earnest suitor Nick, only to abandon everything to try to save Toby. Through it all, Top Gallant, now a vanishing ship model sent by his father, possesses Toby like a restless summer night's dream. Summoned by sailors' haunting refrains, the ship spurs Toby to search out his father in a final spell-binding adventure.