Ernestina-Morrissey hauled out

Posted:  Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 1:00pm
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Story Location:
120 Commercial Street
Boothbay Harbor  Maine
United States

The sound of the cradle at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard is a unique racket.

There's the lurching of the platform as it makes its way up the rails, the jingling of massive chains and the hiss of hoses.

It will be a while before those sounds are heard again.

The Ernestina-Morrissey was hauled out Tuesday, April 28 at the shipyard, and it won't be headed back to sea for several years. That means the cradle will not rock — it will hold the official tall ship of Massachusetts until the $6 million restoration project is completed.

With repairs starting below waterline and working their way up, the project will take several years.

Shipyard General Manager Eric Graves joked about recording the sound of the chains pulling the ship out of water for his cellphone ring tone, because it will be a while before they are heard again.

But once the chains dip the 1894 ship back into the Harbor, it will be the first time since 2004 that it has been in sailing condition.

The ship made its way from its home port in New Bedford, Massachusetts via the Cape Cod Canal in early April. The Ernestina-Morrissey was originally scheduled to arrive near the first of the year, but the severe winter weather pushed the arrival date back to April.

The shipyard was awarded the contract from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation in November after submitting one of two bids. According to officials from the Massachusetts DCR, the shipyard was eyed because of their familiarity with the ship.

The Ernestina-Morrissey was in the harbor in 2008-09, when it underwent repairs above the waterline, including its bulkhead. This time around, the repairs will be above- and below, including the hull.

It will be on full display while the repairs are being made. There will likely be a viewing platform so pedestrians can get a better glimpse of the ship.