Rhode Island’s Tall Ship Moves to North Kingstown

The hull of the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry was launched at Sims Metal Management (formerly Promet Marine) in Providence, R.I. and towed to its new home at Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, R.I.. (Photo Credit OHPRI/Matt Gineo)

Rhode Island’s Education-at-Sea School Ship, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, tested the waters of Providence Harbor and upper Narragansett Bay on Monday, December 12, when it was launched at Sims Metal Management (formerly Promet Marine) in Providence and towed to its new home at Senesco Marine in North Kingstown’s Quonset Point. At Senesco Marine, one of the Northeast’s premier shipyards for new construction and vessel repair, the non-profit organization Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) will continue building the 196’ (sparred length) steel-hulled ship.

Before being launched, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry’s hull was painted with supplies donated by OHPRI Marine Trades Partner Interlux Yacht Paint. (Photo Credit OHPRI/Matt Gineo)

“Up until now we’ve been mostly laying groundwork,” said OHPRI Construction Supervisor Rick Williams. “This whole year has been devoted to welding, repairs and inspections, but now we are entering the real building stage. Senesco is where all the major construction will be taking place.” Williams explained that this includes the fabrication of fuel and wing tanks; installation of the lower deck as well as machinery, engines, and generators; fabrication of the new topsides, weather deck, bulwarks and transom; and the stepping of the ship’s 3 masts.

The hull of SSV Oliver Hazard Perry was towed to its new home at Senesco Marine by Reagan Construction Corp., a OHPRI Marine Trades Partner. (Photo Credit OHPRI/Matt Gineo)

Before hitting the water, the bottom of SSV Oliver Hazard Perry’s hull was painted with supplies donated by OHPRI Marine Trades Partner Interlux Yacht Paint. The ship was towed approximately 18 miles from Sims to Senesco by Reagan Construction Corp., also an OHPRI Marine Trades Partner.

“We’re very excited about the new location and the fact that the ship can remain in Rhode Island for completion,” said Williams, adding that Senesco Marine has been building steel vessels on 26 acres of land at Quonset Point since 1999. “Senesco will fit the bill perfectly.”

Since the hull was first bought by OHPRI in 2007 from a Canadian group, the organization has worked to create a network of donors and suppliers to help build the ship while focusing on the maritime heritage of Rhode Island. The list of OHPRI Marine Trades Partners continues to grow rapidly and includes Furuno USA, Hall Spars and Rigging, Harken, Hood Sailmakers, KVH Industries, Matthew Smith Naval Architect, Milton CAT, Newport Harbor Corporation, Ocean Navigator Publishing and Onne van der Wal Photography.

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