Last month, a boat built by Lake Champlain high school students was the latest vessel to join the U.S. Navy fleet.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum delivered the Lake Champlain boat to the U.S. Navy crew of the USS Constitution on October 25, 2014 (at the 2014 Head of the Weir River Race), making it the newest vessel in the Navy’s fleet. This beautiful wooden pilot gig named Harvest Moon will be used by the crew of the USS Constitution in regional rowing races in the Boston area.
The crew of the Boston-berthed USS Constitution have been rowing pilot gigs for several years. “It builds camaraderie amongst the crew members to be able to compete in a rowing race,” said Chief Builder (SCW) Christopher Locke back in 2012.
Harvest Moon was built during the winter of 2009 – 2010 by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Champlain Longboats program by students and staff from the Diversified Occupations program and boatbuilders from the Maritime Museum.
Says LCMM’s Director of Outdoor Education Nick Patch, “We are thrilled and honored to pass this wonderful vessel built at the Maritime Museum on to the revered crew of the US Navy’s USSConstitution.” It was a proud day for LCMM and the hard working youth and volunteer boat builders.
About USS Constitution
USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. The 44-gun frigate was constructed in Boston, MA in 1797 to defend US naval interests abroad. She received her nickname “Old Ironsides” during battle with HMS Guerriere in August 1812 in which 18-pound British cannonballs bounced off her 25-in-thick oak hull as if “her sides were made of iron”. USS Constitution is scheduled to undergo major repairs starting in spring 2015, with a return to the water in 2017. More about USS Constitution.
Champlain Longboats Around the Region
Student-built boats from LCMM’s Champlain Longboats Program are often seen on Lake Champlain rowing, but did you know they travel all around the region for youth rowing races, and some been commissioned or purchased by other groups? Just to mention a few:
- Crouching Lion (b 2005) resides at the Boston Rowing Center. They describe the paint job as a “characteristic Vermont gypsy color scheme of red and yellow”!
- Whitehall gigs Firefly (b 2010) and Bowfin (b 2011) are also at the Boston Rowing Center.
- LCMM-built whaleboat (b 2014) now accompanies Mystic Seaport whaleship Charles W. Morgan