1841 whaleship at Mystic Seaport undergoing maintenance; officials looking for evidence of shipworms

New London

MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — At the Mystic Seaport Monday, the 1841 whaleship the Charles W. Morgan is being hauled out of the water for some routine maintenance. This happens about every three years.

There are six smaller boats towing it and pushing it to the shipyard which is on the south end of the Seaport. From there, it is hauled out of the water so they can get a look at the hull. What they will be doing is inspecting it and then caulking it and making other repairs that might be needed. 

One thing, in particular, they may be looking for is evidence of shipworms that may be making a return to the waters here in the northeast.

Chris Gasiorek, the vice president of Watercraft Preservation and Programs at Mystic Seaport explained, “Water quality is getting much better so that’s wonderful. One small downside to that is the worms and things that like to eat ships are coming back and causing more of a problem. So we’ll be doing some real bit of science to see what kind of growth is on the bottom and if there are any shipworms coming back into the Mystic River. That will be something we have to worry about down the road as the water cleans up.”

The ship will be out of the water between and six and eight weeks and visitors will still be able to climb on board. They will actually have a very large staircase set up right next to it so they can do that and climb on board. What visitors will also be able to see is the hull, something you usually don’t see because it’s underwater.

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