Category Archives: Ships

Member Update – Mystic Seaport Releases Video on Restoration of Mayflower II

A brand new Mystic Seaport video “Journey to Restoration: Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport” was released today. Mystic Seaport’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard is working in partnership with Plimoth Plantation to restore Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction of the Pilgrims’ vessel. The ship is being repaired using traditional and modern methods that both honor her original construction and recondition her for generations of enjoyment.

Submitted by Connor Zito, Mystic Seaport, May 4, 2016

Member Update – Polynesian Voyaging Canoe Hokule’a Sails into Hampton Roads

hokulea-banner

Image courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a (“Star of Gladness” in Hawaiian) is circumnavigating the globe on a voyage whose goals are as impressive as they are important. Hokule’a was built by the Polynesian Voyaging Society in the 1970s, more than 600 years after any other voyaging canoe existed.

Designed and sailed using skills that very nearly went extinct, Hokule’a seeks the wisdom of all indigenous peoples in a search for ideas on dealing with global concerns applied on a global scale. Appealing particularly to students and their communities, Hokule’a brings attention to the message of Mālama Honua – “to care for the Earth” in Hawaiian.

Hokule’a will be welcomed into Hampton Roads waters by a flotilla on Friday, April 22. She will then stay docked in Newport News for the Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 23 at the James River Fishing Pier. The celebration will include tours of Hokule’a, educational activities for families, and chances to meet the crew members. On Sunday, April 24, Hokule’a will sail to Yorktown for a traditional welcoming ceremony with Native American tribes followed by an afternoon celebration and tours of Hokule’a.

Throughout the visit, Hokule’a’s crew will participate in multiple public programs. On Thursday, April 28,  the crew will deliver a special lecture on Traditional Polynesian Wayfinding at the Museum. On Friday, April 29, the Museum will host Exploring the Seas Homeschool Day with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. There will also be special opportunities for Hampton Roads students to visit with the crew in their own classrooms.

Hokule’a will remain at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown until May 8, when the canoe will continue sailing north, eventually visiting Washington, D.C., in time for a possible presidential declaration of National Oceans’ Month.

For more information about Hokule’a’s visit please go http://www.marinersmuseum.org/hokulea-events/. Or, you may contact Anne Marie Millar at (757) 591-7748 or email amillar@marinersmuseum.org.

Submitted by Jenna Dill, The Mariners Museum, April 11, 2016

Public Notice for the Ferryboat Binghamton

As outlined in this Public Notice, NOEL LOVE GROSS, TRUSTEE OF TRUST B UNDER ARTICLE IIIB OF THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF NELSON G. GROSS is seeking interested qualified parties to enter into an agreement to remove the ferryboat Binghamton from its current site, in Edgewater, New Jersey, for the purpose of preservation and restoration. The Public Notice period will expire after 90 days, on June 29th, 2016. In the event that no qualified parties come forward within the 90 period to enter into an agreement to remove the entire vessel, components of the vessel will be offered to historical organizations and museums for curation.

The ferryboat Binghamton, a National Register structure, was constructed from 1904-1905. This vessel was one of six steam-powered screw-propeller, double-ended ferryboats built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock for the Hoboken Ferryboat Company. After her 62 years of service on the Hudson River between Hoboken and Manhattan, the ferryboat was sold and turned into a popular floating restaurant known as Binghamton’s in 1975. Unfortunately, the ferryboat is in poor condition due to damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012. The State of New Jersey has ordered the vessel’s removal for safety concerns.

Submitted by Teresa Bulger, Richard Grubb & Associates, April 1, 2016

 

Peter Stanford Remembered for Many Maritime Heritage Legacies

Peter Stanford, one of the 1972 founding members of the Council of American Maritime Museums, died today. The National Maritime Historical Society has posted a tribute to their late President Emeritus on their website.

Stanford was the founding president of South Street Seaport Museum, New York, and was instrumental in saving numerous historic ships, including the Lightship Ambrose; Brigantine Black Pearl; Barques Elissa, Moshulu, and Peking; Schooners Ernestina, ex-Effie Morrisey and Lettie Howard, Liberty Ship John W. Brown, steam tug Mathilda, and Wavertree.

In addition to CAMM, Peter Stanford was involved with the evolution of the American Society of Marine Artists (1977), the American Ship Trust (1978), the Hudson River Maritime Museum (1979), and the National Maritime Alliance (1987).  He also co-founded and supervised both OpSail 1976 for the nation’s bicentennial and the Statue of Liberty Parade of Sail in 1986.

A remarkable leader in the early days of ship preservation, Peter Stanford played a crucial role in bringing maritime heritage to the attention of the nation’s cultural resource community.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, using information from the National Maritime Historical Society posting, March 24, 2016

Member Update – San Francisco Maritime NHP

THREE NEW MASTS INSTALLED IN LANDMARK 1895 SCHOONER C.A. THAYER

Step Thayer Mizzen

C.A. THAYER mizzen mast being installed. NPS photo

San Francisco, CA – Yesterday, a San Francisco-minted, 1895 gold piece, donated by the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, was laid on the mainmast step of the 1895 C.A. Thayer. Moments later, a mobile crane at Alameda’s Bay Ship and Yacht yard deftly fitted the 109-foot, 8.4-ton “stick” through a two-and-a-half foot hole carved in her planked deck. With the installation of her masts, the National Historic Landmark vessel’s preservation is nearly complete.

C.A. Thayer will return to Hyde Street Pier later this month, where Park staff will completely rig the vessel. The newly-masted schooner will be honored at the Park’s 2016 Festival of the Sea, a free, all-day public event scheduled for Saturday, August 20.

“We’re excited to bring C.A. Thayer back to Hyde Street Pier during the National Park Service’s centennial year,” said Park Superintendent Hendricks. “I invite the public to visit Hyde Street Pier this spring and watch our historic rigging crew install wire and line on all three of her new masts.”

A “stepping the mast” ceremony is a hoary maritime tradition, dating to at least the days of ancient Rome. At one time thought to bring good luck, placing a coin (or other memorabilia) under a vessel’s mast is now as much a part of shipbuilding custom as a smashed-champagne-bottle launch.

C.A. Thayer’s History

Built at Fairhaven, on Humboldt Bay in Northern California, in 1895, C.A. Thayer alone represents the hundreds of vessels built for the West Coast lumber trade. Constructed by Hans Bendixsen, she was originally owned by the E.K. Wood Lumber Company of San Francisco. The vessel spent the early years of her career carrying Douglas fir lumber from the Wood Company mill at Grays Harbor, Washington, to San Francisco and Southern California, with occasional longer trips to Mexico and the Pacific Islands.

The schooner retired from the lumber business in 1912, but quickly found work supplying a shore-based salmon fishing operation in Alaska. She changed hands again in 1924, and was refitted for codfishing in the Bering Sea, operating out of Puget Sound, Washington. After a period of lay-up during the depths of the Great Depression, she was purchased by the U.S. Army, and operated as a barge in the Aleutian Campaign, in 1942. Following WWII, Thayer returned to codfishing, and had the distinction of making the last commercial voyage of a large American sailing vessel, in 1950.

C.A. Thayer spent several years on display as a roadside attraction in Washington State. After a refit in Seattle, the schooner voyaged under sail down the Pacific Coast to San Francisco where, in 1963, she berthed at Hyde Street Pier as part of the newly-opened State Maritime Historical Park. The vessel was transferred, with the rest of that Park’s holdings, to the National Park Service in 1977. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984, and is now preserved by the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Submitted by Lynn Cullivan, San Francisco Maritime NHP, February 2, 2016

SSHSA Announces Launch of Ship History Center

Extensive archive now available to researchers by appointment.

Photo courtesy of SSHA

Photo courtesy of SSHA

The Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA) is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year by offering unprecedented access to its vast archives. With the official opening of the Ship History Center in Warwick, R.I., the organization’s entire collection is now housed under one roof and accessible to researchers.

“This is an exciting time for us and we are pleased to finally have this wealth of knowledge available for study,” SSHSA Executive Director Matthew Schulte said. “The information we have gathered over the years helps us understand not only where we’ve been, but where we are heading in the future. We hope that there are plenty of researchers out there who can take advantage of it.”

Photo courtesy of SSHSA

Photo courtesy of SSHSA

The SSHSA archive comprises hundreds of thousands of images, artifacts, periodicals, artwork, official records and memorabilia that help tell the extensive history of engine- powered vessels, their passengers and their crews. Until recently, these items were stored in warehouses ranging from Long Island to Baltimore.

Last October, the society – which also publishes the quarterly magazine, PowerShips – moved into a building formerly used by the New England Institute of Technology. Since that time, it has consolidated its collection, finally bringing the last of it together this spring. While the goal is to be open for the general public in the near future, additional staff, volunteers and funding are needed before these hours can expand beyond research appointments.

SSHSA 29“This Ship History Center is something that we have been working toward for years, and it is satisfying to see us take this first step,” Schulte said. “But we also know that the work doesn’t stop here. Our goal is not just to appeal to the amateur and professional historians, but to everyone interested in this fascinating segment of American history.”

The move comes as the organization looks to broaden its role as an educator and steward of maritime resources. In recent years, it has launched the online Image Porthole, which has helped identify pictures of thousands of ships from around the world and worked toward uploading portions of its collection so they can be shared instantaneously around the world.

Photo courtesy of SSHSA

Photo courtesy of SSHSA

Future goals include the development of an educational program that will help students connect the revolutionary progress that steamship technology made in the 19th century with the technological advances of today.

The SSHSA was founded in 1935 in a Manhattan apartment by seven amateur steamship historians. Eighty years later, it has grown to become the world’s leading organization on the history of engine-powered vessels, with close to 3,000 domestic and international members in more than 40 countries.

To schedule a visit, please contact us at (401) 463-3570.

Submitted by Bryan Lucier, SSHSA

New Coast Guard Cutter James to Visit Home of Her Massachusetts Namesake

USCGC JOSHUA JAMES is named for the famous keeper of the Point Allerton Lifesaving Station, Hull, Masschusetts.

USCGC JAMES is named for the famous keeper of the Point Allerton Lifesaving Station, Hull, Masschusetts.

The new US Coast Guard Cutter James, at 418 ft., the largest class of strategic defense ship in the Coast Guard fleet, will visit Hull waters this Sunday, August 2nd. Named for Joshua James, the most famous and celebrated lifesaver of the US Life-Saving Service, and captain of the Point Allerton Station from 1889 to 1902, now home to the Hull Lifesaving Museum, the James is one of the newest Legend class of long-range national security cutters designed to operate anywhere around the globe. Following her sojourn in Hull waters the ship will proceed to Boston for a private commissioning ceremony on August 8th.

Excerpted from a press release submitted by Connie Leung, Hull Lifesaving Museum, July 28, 2015