Now 131 years old, the 270-foot Wavertree was built in England for R.W. Leyland & Co. Initially the three-masted ship carried jute between eastern India and Scotland; later it entered the tramp trades and delivered cargo around the world.
In 1910, after a dismasting off Cape Horn, Wavertree was sold for use as a floating warehouse in Punta Arenas, Chile. In 1947 she was turned into a sand barge in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The South Street Seaport Museum bought her in 1968. A $13 million restoration at Cadell Dry Dock included 2,200 gallons of paint, about 250,000 pounds of reinforcing steel and seven miles of cordage.
This video from The Tribeca Trib shows the ship returning to the museum on Sept. 24.
The vessel is now part of the museum’s Street of Ships at Pier 16 that includes the schooner Pioneer, lightship Ambrose, fishing schooner Lettie G. Howard and tugboat W.O. Decker. Learn more about the museum at its website.
Look for a feature on the historic windjammer in the December issue of Soundings.