Mystic’s Whaling Ship Takes Final Steps Toward the Water

After nearly five years of work in Mystic, the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan has made its final moves across the tarmac at Mystic Seaport in preparation for a July 21 relaunching ceremony. The 300-ton ship, built way back in 1841, has been undergoing a tremendous restoration at Mystic Seaport, putting it to rights structurally and preparing it for a tour of New England in 2014.

To prepare for the launch, the ship was literally hauled 200 feet laterally and put in place on the yard’s shiplift, which will eventually deposit it into the water. The launching ceremony, which will take place at 2 p.m. on July 21, will be a must-attend event for anyone with an interest in traditional wooden sailing ships.

Though the ship will not yet be in the water for the 22nd Annual WoodenBoat Show, to be held June 28-30, visitors to the show will have an excellent vantage point from which to survey the Charles W. Morgan and see this grand ship before she hits the high seas once again. They will also be able to see the fine craftsmanship of the various New England boatbuilders who have spent the past year creating replica whaleboats — open oar- and sail-powered craft that will be carried aboard the Charles W. Morgan. One whaleboat is actually making its way under its own power from Rockland, Maine, to Mystic.