The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a stability letter to America’s newest tall ship for operation on exposed waters, confirming that SSV Oliver Hazard Perry exceeds their most stringent Sailing School Vessel standards for stability. This assures that the vessel is on track to begin offshore ocean voyaging in early 2017 following the successful near-shore sailing achieved this past summer.
The first scheduled offshore passage will be south from Rhode Island to Florida
, starting in January 2017.
The 200-foot, three-masted, full rigged ship is currently dry-docked in North Kingstown, R.I. at J. Goodison Company, Inc., which hauled the vessel on October 19 with its new 820 metric ton marine travelift. Persak & Wurmfeld, Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y. has provided naval architecture and technical Management services to the vessel since early this year. Both companies are marine trades partners of the nonprofit organization Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI), which owns and operates the ship.
“After a successful first summer season of programs in New England, this yard period gives us the opportunity for some routine maintenance and improvements,” said Captain David Dawes. “This includes replacement of all fresh water tanks with stainless steel; modifications to the exhaust system; and installation of an emergency generator.”
According to OHPRI, the ship will relaunch at Goodison’s in early December and continue preparing for her trip south as Rhode Island’s Official Sailing Education Vessel. The plan is to conduct open-ocean training for crew, sail with students from partner academic institutions up and down the East Coast
, and run Spring Break educational voyages and adult sailing opportunities while engaging tall ship enthusiasts at port visits along the way, giving them access to the ship to understand its background, purpose and the benefits of experiential education at sea.
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry has been eight years in the making and was completed with $17 million in private funds. Named for U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the Rhode Island war hero who defeated the British in the battle of Lake Erie, she is the first oceangoing full-rigged ship to be built in America in over a hundred years. She is not a replica, but instead a modern, steel-hulled vessel purpose-built for training and education to the highest modern safety standards.
Accommodating 49 people overnight (including 17 professional crew), the ship is wheelchair accessible and carries students of all ages who take active roles in sailing the ship safely, acquiring seamanship, leadership and teamwork skills during a unique experiential learning opportunity. As members of the crew, students work side-by-side with professional crew to learn square-rig seamanship – including bracing the yards, steering the ship and going aloft – and develop socially and academically while working as a unified team. The ocean-oriented educational programming available onboard reinforces STEAM courses (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics).