Essex Shipbuilding Museum Announces Webcam Coverage of Schooner Progress


The Essex Shipbuilding Museum is excited to announce a new webcam as well as other online material documenting the new schooner being built in the Burnham Shipyard.

‘The webcam allows anyone to become part of the crew and follow along as this latest Essex-built schooner takes shape,’ says Museum Education Director, Randy Robar. ‘Not everyone can come to Essex and take a tour of the schooner ISABELLA, but now they can watch the construction of this traditionally-built wooden boat anytime they want.’

A new ‘Ask the Experts’ section enables people to post and read answers about the ISABELLA and wooden boat construction. ‘I think this is a great way for people to get involved,’ says shipbuilder Harold Burnham. ‘Now everyone can not only see the vessel being built, but ask questions about it. I really enjoy answering the questions and am glad people are taking the time to ask them.’

The Museum’s site also boasts the ‘ISABELLA Journal,’ where people can follow along with the crew as they build the boat. Text and photos highlight the construction of the boat. ‘But this is more than a description of a boat being built,’ reflects Robar, who writes the weekly journal. ‘It’s a living history of our heritage. I’m trying to capture my experiences as an apprentice as well as those of the people who make up this project.’

The Museum is also busy updating the rest of its web site. A new section on the Museum’s education programs, for example, includes information about its innovative school programs, boatbuilding courses, and kids’ pirate birthday parties among others, and contains dozens of new photos, visitor comments, and down-loadable PDFs.

Special weekly tours of the Burnham shipyard and schooner ISABELLA are being offered by the Essex Shipbuilding Museum every Saturday at 1:00 throughout the winter.

About the Essex Shipbuilding Museum

The Essex Shipbuilding Museum tells the extraordinary story of a small New England village that built more two-masted wooden fishing schooners than any other place in the world. Preserving the history of the wooden shipbuilding industry, an integral part of the economy and culture in New England and the United States since the 1630’s, the Museum maintains one of the best maritime collections in the region. Museum projects have built or interpreted schooners, Chebacco boats, sailing lighters, dories and privateers. The last intact American fishing schooner, the EVELINA M. GOULART is currently being preserved and documented. Innovative, experiential educational programs teach concepts through a rich mix of content knowledge and hands-on activities for children, adults, seniors and educators from around the world. Located in the heart of Essex, Massachusetts, the Museum is adjacent to an acre of land set aside in 1668 ‘for a yard to build vessels and employing workmen for this end’ and is integral to the town’s historic character, scenic vista and central river basin. Features include antique shipbuilding tools, photographs, documents, and exhibits portraying the shipbuilding industry. Tours include video presentations and hands-on activities. A gift shop offers ship plans, maritime books, and other nautical memorabilia. For current events, exhibits and programs, please call 978-768-7541 or visit