Oldest Commercial Vessel Still Afloat in America Prepares for Re-launch

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The whaleship Charles W. Morgan has been on land for 5 years (Published Sunday, Feb 2, 2014)

    (NECN/NBC News: Amy Parmenter) - The whaleship Charles W. Morgan has begun its journey back to the water after spending almost five years on land.

    Inch by inch, the whaleship is making its way back to sea.

    Shipyard Director Quentin Snediker said, "She weighs three hundred tons so we wanted to move her very slowly and carefully."

    The Morgan, identified as the oldest commercial vessel still afloat in America , hasn't actually been afloat since the ship was taken out of the water in 2008 for extensive repairs to her underbelly. But if all goes as planned, she'll be getting her sea legs back shortly.

    "This is the single most labor intensive task."

    Snediker says it was all hands on deck, or on the job anyway, as the Morgan was moved just 40 feet.

    It's actually a two-part move. The second part happens about 180 feet away. The Morgan will ride these rails to get lowered into the water Wednesday for the first time in 5 years.

    Seaport Spokesman Dan McFadden said, "We're going to slowly move her out get her in position, then at the very end of the day we'll lower her into the water."

    While there were a few spectators today, a much bigger crowd is expected for the official launch of Morgan July 21.