Mystic Seaport is currently rebuilding the world’s last remaining whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan. The Charles W. Morgan is the last surviving wooden whaling ship from the great days of sail. Built in 1841 in New Bedford, MA, the Morgan had a successful 80-year whaling career. She made 37 voyages before retiring in 1921, and was preserved as an exhibit through the efforts of a number of dedicated citizens. After being on display in South Dartmouth, MA, until 1941, she came to Mystic Seaport, where each year thousands of visitors walk her decks and hear the fascinating story of her career as a whaling vessel, historic exhibit, film and media star, and porthole into America's rich history.
The restoration, which is estimated to cost well over 10 million dollars, is expected to bring the ship back into seaworthy condition. Upon completion of the restoration in 2014, Mystic Seaport plans to sail the ship to various ports in Southern New England. For the voyage, the Seaport is seeking like organizations to construct up to seven new whaleboats.
- Two are already underway at the Independent Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, and Rocking the Boat in the Bronx.
- There is no organization that is better suited to the task than Lowell’s Boat Shop.
Lowell’s Boat Shop seeks to build at least one whaleboat to complement the restoration. Whaleboats are 28’ open boats propelled by oar and sail that were carried by the larger whaleship and lowered to chase the whales when they were sighted. They are lightly built for speed and maneuverability yet strong enough to take the abuse often handed out by the whale during the hunt. They, along with the dory invented at Lowell’s Boat Shop, represent the epitome of American boat design and construction.