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Mayflower II’s Fuller Shallop Visits Maritime Gloucester
June 13, 2021
Gloucester Harbor is its first stop in Shallop journey to Plymouth Harbor
Maritime Gloucester is proud to welcome Mayflower II’s Fuller Shallop to its docks as its first port on its journey home to Plymouth Harbor where both vessels are under the stewardship of Plimoth Patuxet Museums. After a recent restoration by Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, MA, the shallop makes her first stop on the Maritime Gloucester pier for two days of public viewing and demonstrations.
Thursday, June 10 – ARRIVAL in Gloucester Harbor, time subject to weather
Friday and Saturday – Public Viewing and Demonstrations at Maritime Gloucester pier
Sunday, June 13 – DEPARTURE, subject to weather and other factors
The complete list of activities for the Fuller Shallop visit to Maritime Gloucester can be found at www.maritimegloucester.org.
Maritime Gloucester is a maritime cultural site and educational campus on Gloucester’s historic working waterfront. Home to the Gloucester Schooner Festival and the oldest marine railway in the United States, its working waterfront has been a destination for historic vessels and the fishing fleet for over 172 years.
“Having the Fuller Shallop visit is a great way to kick off our summer programming,” states Michael De Koster, Executive Director of Maritime Gloucester. “After being closed for over 14 months due to COVID, this signature event is a great gift to our community and a great way to announce our comeback. Experiences like this are what Maritime Gloucester is all about, getting the public up close and interacting with our maritime heritage. The Lowell’s Boat Shop apprentices did a fantastic job restoring this wonderful piece of American maritime history and we want Gloucester to see it in two days of family-oriented demonstrations and viewings. Its cultural significance, workmanship, and narrative are part of the fabric of our national story. We celebrate Plimoth Patuxet’s dedication in its work to restore and sail this wonderful vessel. We are proud to be part of this experience, and to bring its story to the people of Gloucester.”
A small crew will depart Lowell’s Boat Shop on June 10, headed down the Merrimack River and into the Atlantic. Rounding Cape Ann, the Fuller Shallop will arrive in Gloucester on Thursday evening. A complement of Gloucester schooners, crews, workboats, and gig boats will greet her in the harbor and escort her to the Maritime Gloucester pier. She will tie up by the Schooner Ardelle and stay there until Sunday. Friday and Saturday will have public viewing and demonstrations led by Plimoth Patuxet. On Sunday, June 13, she will depart Gloucester. The Shallop is expected to arrive in Plymouth Harbor on June 19. All plans for sailing are subject to change based on weather conditions and other factors. Details about additional port stops along the way will be forthcoming from Plimoth Patuxet.
Stowed aboard the first Mayflower during its trans-Atlantic journey in 1620, the original Shallop was a wooden boat that could be either rowed or sailed and was used by the Pilgrims to explore the coast of what is now known as Massachusetts. Plimoth Patuxet’s founder Harry Hornblower commissioned William Avery Baker – the same renowned naval architect who researched and created the plans for the museum’s Mayflower II – to design a reproduction of the Shallop. The 33’ historic reproduction was built in 1957 at Plymouth Marine Railways and greeted the now-historic tall ship upon her arrival to Plymouth in June of that year. The Shallop ferried Captain Alan Villiers and his crew to shore, where they were welcomed by more than 25,000 spectators.
Despite routine maintenance, both Mayflower II and her Shallop succumbed to the deterioration process expected of any organic material exposed to natural elements over the course of sixty years. Plimoth Patuxet, committed to ensuring the future seaworthiness of these historic vessels, partnered with other mission-driven organizations on preservation efforts. As Mayflower II was undergoing a multi-year restoration at Mystic Seaport Museum, the expert boat builders and young apprentices at Lowell’s Boat Shop worked to bring new life to the Shallop. On April 28, 2021, the newly restored vessel was christened and launched into the Merrimack River.