There is still more steel to be welded, rigging to be run, and money to be raised, but the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, Rhode Island’s Tall ship, looks to be on schedule to be sailing in time for the 200th anniversary of Perry’s victory in the of the Battle of Lake Erie next year. The ship is under construction at Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, R.I. Click here to see photos of the work underway at the shipyard. Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island, the non-profit profit organization behind the project, will offer sail training programs for all ages. Captain Richard Bailey has been named the ship’s master and Jessica Wurzbacher will serve as the Education Director.
“It is a very exciting time for SSV Oliver Hazard Perry,” said Dunbar. “We are using as many Rhode Island marine trades professionals as possible to build this ship, and at Senesco alone we have already funded 6,000 hours of skilled labor. Our goal is to move the ship to Newport for a dedication on July 6, 2013 and continue working toward having her Coast Guard inspected, certified and operational for the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie on Sept. 10, 2013. SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be based in Newport, but she will sail as a symbol for all of Rhode Island and as an ambassador for the state’s seafaring heritage and its innovations in education at sea.”
In other words, OHPRI needs more money now for the Perry’s completion and they have put a matching funds scheme in place for November and December to raise as much as they can. Any individual or corporate contribution from $1,000 to $20,000 made before the end of the year will be doubled by the anonymous supporter. The Shipbuilding Syndicate Challenge guarantees that larger donation amounts – two-year pledges between $25,000 and $500,000 – will be matched at 50 percent, up to $250,000. The challenges have the potential to generate nearly $1.2 million.