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38th Voyage Whaleboat Events in New Bedford

The last wooden whaleship in the world, the Charles W. Morgan, was launched in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1841 and returns for a nine-day visit during her historic 38th Voyage in the summer of 2014. The Morgan will be docked at New Bedford’s State Pier June 28-July 6, 2014, and visitors are invited to board the National Historic Landmark vessel and explore an accompanying dockside exhibition.

Accompanying the Morgan will be the 10 new whaleboats that were built for the ship’s recent restoration. The whaleboats were built by Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, Great Lakes Boat Building School, Rocking the Boat, The Apprenticeshop, Lowell’s Boat Shop, Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and Alexandria Seaport Foundation. The boats will participate in the following events:

Sunday, June 29, 12:30 pm: Boat Parade

A festive Parade of Boats will celebrate the Charles W. Morgan New Bedford Homecoming on Sunday, June 29, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Watch as the Morgan‘s whaleboats, rowing shells, recreational boats, commercial fishing vessels, public safety vessels, tugs and other commercial vessels make their way down New Bedford Harbor.

If you would like to register your vessel in the boat parade, please click here for more information.

Saturday, July 5, 10:30 am: Whaleboat Skills Challenge at State Pier

Watch a lighthearted competition where crews demonstrate their expertise in maneuvering whaleboats. In front of the State Pier, two boats at a time will run through a 360 turn, a slalom, a quick stop, and a one-armed row while waving. Teams will be judged on speed, precision, and the most convincing wave. The overall winner will be declared “Greatest Whaleboat Crew of 2014.”

If you are interested in entering the skills challenge, please click here for more information.

Saturday, July 5, 1:30 pm: Whaleboat Races

The featured (“pro”) race is a re-enactment of a 2½ mile, 1857 Independence Day whaleboat race. The race follows the course from State Pier out around Palmer’s Island and then returns. Boats will start two minutes apart so that they can get through the passage between the island and the dike one at a time. The whaleboat and crew with the best time wins the silver pitcher replica of the 1857 award.

A second (“amateur”) race will use the same starting line and a pair of buoys set short of Palmer’s Island. Depending on the number of teams entered, heats of up to five boats will be staged, with awards given to the best times. The amateur race is about 1¼ miles long and will run after the featured race.

If you are interested in participating in the whaleboat races, please click here for more information.

Sunday, July 6, 10:30 am: Whaleboat Sailing Regatta

Watch a friendly competition between two Morgan whaleboats with sailing rigs and two Azorean whaleboats.