This winter, Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway on Vineyard Haven harbor is at work recreating a small piece of the nation's maritime history.
The Island boatbuilders, designers and builders of pleasure craft large and small, power and sail, are building one of the whaleboats that will be carried by the Charles W. Morgan, the last remaining wooden whaleship and the oldest American commercial vessel still in existence.
The Morgan is now undergoing a multi-million dollar restoration at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut.
Caulking with cotton.
Built in 1841 in New Bedford, she made 37 voyages under sail around the globe during an 80-year whaling career. The vessel arrived at Mystic Seaport in 1941 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1967.
The museum expects to relaunch Morgan this July, and in 2014 she will begin her 38th voyage, this one to historic ports in New England, including Vineyard Haven.
In all, nine whaleboats are under construction by third parties that include, in addition to Gannon & Benjamin, the Lowell Boat Shop and the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum.
Here are more photos and description about the restoration of the Morgan