When the 172-year old tall ship Charles W. Morgan sets out on its historic 38th voyage on June 14, it will benefit from safety enhancements that were unheard of at the time of its construction – including a pair of Xantrex Freedom SW 24V - 3000W/75A inverter/chargers that deliver a full 6,000 watts of continuous electrical power.
Built in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that once numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Over an 80-year whaling career, it embarked on 37 voyages, most lasting three years or more. Retired in 1921, the ship was used as a set for two Hollywood films (Down to the Sea in Ships, starring a young Clara Bow, and Java Head, with Ralph Richardson and Anna Mae Wong). It also survived the New England hurricane of 1938 before being moved to the Mystic Seaport Marine Museum in 1941. Now a National Historic Landmark, more than 20 million people have walked its decks since the vessel went on display.
With the completion last month of a five-year, multi-million dollar restoration, the Charles W. Morgan has been restored to as-new condition for its 38th voyage. The restoration philosophy was to replace only components expected to last 50 years or less in order to keep the ship as original as possible, with the sole exception made for the addition of modern safety and navigational equipment. “In order to responsibly sail her today, we’ve added systems for the safety and protection of the vessel,” explained Quentin Snediker, Director for the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport. “This includes two Freedom SW 24VDC inverter/chargers from Xantrex, which will provide a safe, reliable source of electric power needed to run weather radios and navigational equipment.”
“When the people at Mystic Seaport contacted the American Boat and Yacht Council to see if we could help with the Charles W. Morgan restoration, Xantrex was one of our first members to step forward,” said ABYC Director of Educational Programming, Ed Sherman. “They reviewed the vessel’s requirements and generously donated Freedom SW inverter/chargers to provide power for the Morgan’s new electrical systems during her historic summer voyage this year.”
The addition of a modern electrical system on a restored 19th century whaling ship provides a critical safety net that will not only protect the irreplaceable vessel from potential harm, but also allow for safer operation on today’s oceans. As one of the most modern and capable commercial vessels of its day, the Charles W. Morgan would have almost certainly been equipped with a complete Xantrex platform had such technology existed in 1841.
“The Freedom SW 24VDC inverter/charger is one of the most advanced inverter/chargers in the market today,” said Mitul Chandrani, Marketing Manager – Xantrex Brand for Schneider Electric. “With an ability to deliver a full 6,000 watts* of continuous electrical power, it is an ideal choice for both recreational and commercial applications. It has the ability to transfer AC loads to batteries in less than 20 milliseconds when the incoming grid or generator power is lost, allowing it to be used to supplement a generator. Connected loads are almost unable to feel the power transition due to this quick transfer time. It also offers both parallel and series stacking capability which made it the perfect solution for the power needs onboard the Charles W. Morgan, along with its industry and regulatory body approvals to UL458 with marine supplement, CSA, ABYC and FCC, Class B requirements. Xantrex is proud to support the preservation of the Charles W. Morgan and to be on board with the Freedom SW 24 for its historic 38th voyage.”
On June 14, 2014 the Charles W. Morgan will cast lines and embark on an epic coastal cruise with stops at New London, Newport, Vineyard Haven, New Bedford (her home port for 80 years) and Provincetown, with day sails to Stellwagen Bank, Boston, a visit at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, then home to the Mystic Seaport maritime museum by mid-August.