The schooner Ernestina, Ex. Effie M.Morrissey, was built in 1894 for the Gloucester fishing fleet. Under Captain Bob Bartlett she sailed to within 600 miles of the North Pole, and later brought immigrants to the U.S. under the power of sail. The schooner was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and is currently the official vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Ernestina is also in desperate need of repair.
A recent survey estimated that it will take approximately $1.4 million to restore the schooner to sailing condition. The good news is that money to restore the historic schooner has been approved by the state, though is not yet fully guaranteed. Sen. Mark C.W. Montigny, D-New Bedford, who arranged the set-aside, said, “That money is already bonded and I believe we have a fighting chance to convince the governor to spend the money.” Thanks to Tom Russell of the Traditional Sail Professionals Linked-in Group for passing the news along.