Saving the Last Wooden Whale Ship
Mark Alan Lovewell

She is the only one left.

The Charles W. Morgan is the last surviving wooden whale ship, and while she has rested at a shipyard in Mystic, Conn. since 1941, her Vineyard ties are long and as intricate as a clove hitch knot.

Built at a New Bedford shipyard that was owned by a Chilmark family, her first captain and many of the crew were from the Vineyard.

And now a Vineyarder is leading the fund-raising effort to restore the Charles W. Morgan.

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A Piece of Vineyard History, Whaleship Is Set to Sail Again
Mark Alan Lovewell

The last remaining New England whale ship with Vineyard connections — the Charles W. Morgan ­­— may sail again. The president of Mystic Seaport spoke at a private fund-raising function recently in Edgartown, at the home of S. Bailey Norton, to report on the Morgan, now undergoing a $6 million restoration effort. It may take another $2 million to do the necessary work to get her to sail.

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Wooden Whaleship Restored

Wooden Whaleship Restored

Shipwrights have installed the last plank in the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship of the 19th century housed in Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. The wooden ship that began its 80-year career hunting whales with an Edgartown whaling captain, Thomas A. Norton, and many Vineyard crewmembers, is undergoing a $5 million restoration.

Last Friday afternoon shipwrights installed the shutter plank on the 106-foot vessel, which is expected to sail again in 2014.

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