New Bedford Schooner to be Repaired in Maine

New Bedford Schooner to be Repaired in Maine
The Ernestina at the dock, photo New England Boating.

Bangor Daily News reports that the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard has been awarded a $6 million contract to rehabilitate and repair the 156’ schooner Ernestina, which is owned by the state of Massachusetts and is docked in New Bedford Harbor. Work on the 120-year-old schooner is scheduled to begin over the winter and will last about 2 years.

The Ernestina—originally the Effie M. Morrissey—was built in 1894 at the James & Tarr Shipyard in Essex, Massachusetts, for the Gloucester fishing fleet. She fished the Grand Banks until 1926, when she was bought by arctic explorer Captain Bob Bartlett, who sailed the Morrissey to within 600 miles of the North Pole in 1940. During World War II, the schooner was used by the U.S. Navy to conduct hydrographic studies off Greenland.

From 1948 to 1965, the ship (now renamed the Ernestina) was used to transport immigrants and goods to and from the Cape Verde Islands, then saw service as an inter-island ferry and freighter until the mid-‘70s. In 1982, the Ernestina was fully restored and returned to the U.S. as a gift from the newly independent country of Cape Verde. She actively sailed as an educational vessel until 2005.

Managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Ernestina is currently berthed on the south side of New Bedford State Pier.

Watch a short video on the schooner Ernestina in New Bedford, MA: