Summer 2019 Articles

A four-year, $6.3 million rebuild has produced a like-new schooner with a new home and a new mission

The historic schooner Ernestina-Morrissey is nearing the end of a comprehensive rebuild at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, a project that has lasted four years and cost over $6.3 million. Precious little is left of the 1894 Effie M. Morrissey. However, the end result is a strong, beautiful, good-as-new hull that is headed for a new home at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay.

We recently spoke to Craig Dalton of MMA, who is ushering the schooner through Phase Two of her rebuild ó the rig, engine, systems, wiring and plumbing.

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BaySailís volunteers take their old schooner to the woodshed for Ďintense repairsí

BaySail was founded in 1997 to foster environmental stewardship and utilize shipboard experiences as a platform for educational programs. The 85-foot topsail schooner Appledore IV was purchased by the group and relocated to Bay City, Michigan, in 1998. Her sister ship, the 65-foot schooner Appledore V, was purchased in 2003. Sixteen years after bringing Appledore V to Bay City to expand programming opportunities, she was in need of a major refit. In the fall of 2018, a group of highly-skilled volunteers banded together and got to work.

Marlinspike spoke recently with BaySail Executive Director Shirley Roberts and with Joe Parker, a BaySail board member and the Appledore V project lead.

Marlinspike: Letís start with the history of Appledore V. BaySail purchased Appledore IV first, in 1998. Then four or five years later, when they were looking for a second boat... it couldnít have been a coincidence that they settled on another Appledore, right? Whatís the story there?

Shirley Roberts: I was not with BaySail at that time, but I understand demand for the organizationís programs were growing to such an extent that they couldnít accommodate everybody on Appledore IV. The board agreed that a second vessel would be appropriate, and realized in very short order that another Appledore was available. I think she was called Westwind at that time...