New Bedford, Mass. — This year’s Working Waterfront Festival (Sept. 28-29) will include opportunities for the public to tour a variety of workboats, including the Roann, a fully restored wooden Eastern rig vessel.
Built in 1947, ROANN fished out of Martha’s Vineyard and Point Judith, dragging for flounder, cod and haddock. She has undergone a major restoration at MysticSeaport Museum and her trip to New Bedford marks her first voyage since that work was completed. In addition to the Roann, visitors will be able to tour a steel hulled dragger, scalloper, and deep sea clammer, a tug boat, and a Stonington dragger.
In addition, the event will also feature a full-sized Beetle Whaleboat, built this spring by the Beetle Boat Shop through a collaboration with the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Mystic Seaport Museum. James Beetle of New Bedford built over 1,000 whaleboats between 1834 and 1854. Many Beetle whaleboats ended up on the Charles W. Morgan whale ship. The Morgan is currently undergoing a major restoration at Mystic Seaport and is slated to return to New Bedford in 2014 withthis whaleboat and eight others onboard, and the Roann serving as its tender.
For visitors wishing an on water experience, the Buzzard’s Bay Rowing Club offers whaleboat rides from 2-5 on Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday. Whaling City Expeditions offers Harbor Tours both days from 12-5. Tug boat enthusiasts should make a point of attending the annual Tug Boat Muster Saturday beginning at 3:00 pm with mini tugs followed by full sized tugs at 3:30.