Thanks to the Custom House Maritime Museum, the Greater Newburyport Community and curious visitors from near and far, we were fortunate to experience Newburyport’s maritime history through tours and events associated with the visit of Tall Ships: Schooner Alabama and Schooner Adventure during the 2017 Maratime Days celebration.
Excitement is always in the air for the arrival of Newburyport Maritime Days and these breathtaking Tall Ships! Schooner Alabama and Schooner Adventure arrived on Wednesday, May 24th at 10:52 AM on the high tide at the mouth of the Merrimack River. The arrival was marked with a parade of sails to the Newburyport waterfront and the official welcoming ceremony on Wednesday evening from 6 – 8 PM.
General public tours were available Thursday through Monday and as always, the Newburyport.com Events Calendar featured all Maritime Day events including important details, dates and times of special tours and events for student groups, seniors, and artists as well as a number of fun social events.
If you are enamored by the beauty of these amazing tall ships, we highly recommend a tour of the Custom House Maritime Museum. Newburyport is a city filled with fascinating stories of folks who navigated ships, worked on ships, built ships and those who sailed for both business and adventure on incredible journeys of exploration. If locals weren’t somehow connected to ships, it was certain that a family member or neighbor was, and that ships had a significant impact on the lives of everyone from Newburyport. The Custom House Maritime Museum is the ultimate destination for learning and sharing maritime history and tradition. If you haven’t been it is a must on the bucket list, and if you have been then stop in again and discover more stories and adventures of our Newburyport founding residents.
While exploring the Tall Ships we also highly recommend a visit to the, Newburyport Collection, a group of regional hand crafters, artists, and vendors selling their wares on the green, the 27th through the 29th. This is another great opportunity to further explore Newburyport’s maritime traditions and and history. You will find them under the tent on the Custom House waterfront lawn.
The schooner Alabama is a living piece of America’s maritime history. Built in 1926 for the Mobile, Alabama Bar Pilots, she served until her retirement in 1966. She is not a replica, a ship built to emulate the style of past generations, but rather a design of Thomas F. McManus, a man widely regarded as the best designer of all the Gloucester fishing schooners. Alabama’s second phase of her life began when the Coastwise Packet Company and its owner, Robert Douglas purchased and brought her to Vineyard Haven in 1967. Never fitted out as a sailing vessel by the Mobile Pilots, she was finally given this opportunity thirty years later when it was decided to put her back to work in 1994. The rebuild that was a result of this decision lasted over three years and replaced almost 90% of her original form. As with the Shenandoah, Captain Douglas gave every consideration to her construction and the result is a vessel true to the era and design of McManus. The fishing schooner was an American invention, and the Alabama represents the finest vessels from this area when ships like her were relied on to provide the country with the staple of its economy, codfish.
The Schooner Adventure was designed by the famous marine architect Thomas McManus as a “knockabout” without a bowsprit for the safety of the crew. The schooner was built in 1926, in Essex, Massachusetts, by the John F. James and Son Shipyard. She measured 121.6 feet in length, 24.5 feet in breadth, and 14 feet in depth. Her gross tonnage was 130 and her net tonnage 62. When built, Adventure was powered by a 120 horsepower engine turning a single screw in a cutout space in the rudder.
Experience Newburyport Maritime Days by touring the Tall Ships, attending amazing events, and make certain you also tour the Custom House Maritime Museum. Whether you are local to Newburyport or just visiting for Maritime Days be sure to download the Newburyport App. The Neburyport App is a community based loyalty program that offers folks discounts at 180 local restaurants and shops and and helps support local nonprofit organizations. Please consider supporting the Custom House Maritime Museum with your Newburyport App purchase. In addition to being a nonprofit partner, The Custom House Maritime Museum also provides discounts as part of the VIP Program. Show your Newburyport App or VIP Card and receive 50% off Museum admission and 10% off gift shop purchases of $25 or more.