Each year, for the past 14 years, Roseway, the 137-foot schooner and National Historic Landmark built in Essex, comes to Gloucester as a familiar sight at the historic Gloucester Marine Railways before sailing to Boston for the summer as the home of World Ocean School. This vessel has a truly incredible history, from its early days serving New England in World War II and the Boston Pilots Association to last October becoming the first authentic, original U.S. tall ship to dock in Havana in 57 years. At this summer’s Sail Boston, where a fleet of more than 30 tall ships will sail into Boston Harbor, Roseway will have the honor of leading the Parade of Sail, the first and grandest event of the week.
This month, while docked in Gloucester, Roseway is getting a makeover as the next phase of a restoration first started in 2002. The current main salon coach top and sides are the original fabric of the ship and are over 90 years old. While this area was ready for a major refit during the initial restoration in 2002, its life was extended by the use of modern materials and consistent maintenance. This area will be rebuilt using traditional materials of white pine. The entire restoration includes the rebuilding of the main salon house and the rudder trunk, significant projects above and beyond annual maintenance, and a key initiative in maintaining Roseway as a leading player in the tall ship industry and as an effective and safe educational platform.
The captain and crew of Roseway will host an open house at the Gloucester shipyard on Saturday, May 20 from 8 a.m. to 11a.m., welcoming the community to come see the ship, talk to the shipwrights, and hear the tales of its amazing history. Learn about the details of the ship’s restoration, plans and opportunities for Roseway and World Ocean School for the coming summer, and why Gloucester and Cape Ann/Essex County are such an important part of both Roseway’s history and future.
Roseway was donated to the World Ocean School in 2002, after which the organization raised $1.2 million to completely restore it for use as an educational platform. Now, each year from May to August, World Ocean School welcomes hundreds of Greater Boston kids aboard Roseway. Approximately 75 percent of these children are designated as underserved. They spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days at sea for programs focusing on leadership, community service, and academic advancement. Students study navigation, literature of the sea, physics, local ecology, and maritime history. The experience on Roseway not only supports their academic achievement, but also improves their communication skills, self-esteem, and trust in others and in themselves.