Restoring an Icon: The Charles W. Morgan

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Shipwrights working on the CHARLES W. MORGAN restoration in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport

Shipwrights working on the Charles W. Morgan in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport

November 2008 saw the hauling ashore of the mighty Charles W. Morgan in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport. After an extensive restoration and nearly five years out of the water, the last wooden whaleship in the world was launched July 21, 2013 and sailed on her historic 38th Voyage during the summer of 2014. Learn about the¬†restoration of this American icon in the Museum’s Shipyard Gallery exhibition, “Restoring an Icon: The Charles W. Morgan.”

The Charles W. Morgan hauled out in the Museum's Shipyard. November 2008

The Charles W. Morgan hauled out in the Museum’s Shipyard, November 2008.

The exhibit details the tools, timbers, skills, and stories that are part of the preservation of this National Historic Landmark vessel. And while the Morgan may be a product of the 19th century, Mystic Seaport provides an interactive cell phone audio tour to guide you through the exhibition.

The project included lower bottom framing, replacing the interior ceiling, and partial keelson replacement and stem replacement. Remediation of deformed (hogged) sheer line was also undertaken. It is anticipated that this work will be sufficient to address the Morgan‘s major structural needs for at least the next 20 years.

All work on the Morgan was¬†completed by using historically appropriate materials and techniques, in accordance with guidelines set forth in the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation Projects.

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