Mystic Seaport to Host Wounded Warriors

When Mystic Seaport President Steve White learned last year that a local yacht club held a special regatta for members of the Wounded Warriors Project, he knew this was something the Museum needed to be involved with.

“The Mystic Seaport experience presents a marvelous opportunity for our Wounded Warriors and their families,” White said. And so planning commenced in late winter among various Museum departments, and several staff members who are also veterans were brought into help, including Brehan Brady, a member of Wounded Warriors and a rigger at the Museum.

The planning culminates Saturday, June 17, in a special day for members of the Wounded Warriors Project, their families and their caregivers.

“We are pleased and proud to open our campus and our arms to them for a special day of activities and camaraderie,” White said.

Mystic Seaport worked with the New York chapter of Wounded Warriors Project, which includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Invitations were sent to members of the chapter, their families and caregivers to enjoy a day at the Museum as our guests.  More than 130 people are expected to attend.

After an official welcome ceremony in the morning in the Claggett Boat Shed, guests will hear an historical overview of the Museum, have guided tours of the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard and the current restoration projects (Sabino and Mayflower II), watch demonstrations by riggers, blacksmiths and coopers, take a waterfront tour on board Liberty, view a Planetarium show and enjoy a complimentary cookout lunch provided by Coastal Gourmet.

Brehan Brady said he was gratified and humbled by the Museum staff’s interest in providing a day of experience at Mystic Seaport to Wounded Warriors. Staff Sgt. Brady served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division from 1999 through 2007, including two deployments to Iraq and one to the Sinai Peninsula. He saw active combat on the front lines through much of his service. Brady suffered several severe concussions during his service, and in 2010 was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury related to those concussions. He suffered damage to his occipital lobe and among other issues, suffers from an extreme sensitivity to light. He came to work at Mystic Seaport as an interpreter two years ago, and for the last 18 months has worked as a rigger.

Brady belongs to the Wounded Warriors Project, and says it always bothered him living in Connecticut that there weren’t more activities near his home in Pawcatuck to be part of. The New York chapter covers Connecticut and New Jersey and the Boston chapter covers Rhode Island so he found himself in a bit of a no man’s land.

“It’s always been in the back of my mind that this place has tremendous potential to have a positive impact on the lives of veterans,” he said.

The Museum’s involvement with veterans will continue past the Saturday event. In the fall, the Mystic Seaport Sailing Center will host a series of sailing classes for veterans.

“The goal of this class is to build camaraderie among veterans of all eras and services,” said Ben Ellcome, Assistant Manager of Sailing Programs. “The veterans will learn basic sailing and whaleboat rowing but they will also learn about the history of the sea through the historic vessels at the museum. The museum grounds and our fleet of historic watercraft will be used as floating classrooms to further the veterans’ understanding of our common history of the sea and sailing.”

Brady understands the power of Mystic Seaport for veterans.

“My coworkers and friends at Mystic Seaport have played the biggest role in my recovery from what happened to me overseas, and I know that all those who attend the event will benefit from the experience. This is a very special place.”

After the idea was floated to host Wounded Warriors, “there was overwhelming support for it,” he noted. “So many people from across departments said ‘How can I help?’ It was really validating. I like to say that I got back in 2007 (from the war) but I felt like I came home when I started working here.”

Press Releases

Mystic Seaport to Host The WoodenBoat Show June 30-July 2

Mystic, Conn. (June 6, 2017) — The largest gathering of wooden boats and enthusiasts in New England will converge at Mystic Seaport for the 26th annual WoodenBoat Show Friday through Sunday, June 30 to July 2.

The WoodenBoat Show, hosted in a partnership with WoodenBoat Publications, offers something for all wooden boat enthusiasts and maritime history buffs. More than 100 traditional and classic wooden boats of every type will be on display, from hand-crafted kayaks to mahogany runabouts, to classic daysailers and schooners.

In addition to taking in the historic vessels and beautiful boats, visitors can find everything they need to outfit their own watercraft and learn new skills at demonstrations and workshops throughout the weekend. A variety of exhibitors will offer items for sale including maritime art, antiques, tools, books, nautical gear, and much more.

Throughout the weekend, Mystic Seaport staff and guest experts will conduct demonstrations of a variety of boat-building skills, including wood-epoxy boat building, caulking, laminating wood, using an adze, and Viking boat building. There will also be tours of the Mayflower II restoration in the Museum’s shipyard.

Other popular features are the “I Built It Myself” display of home-built boats and Family BoatBuilding, where families and teams work to build their own pre-purchased kits during the weekend. The kits are opened at 9 a.m. Friday morning and tools are put down around 3 p.m. Sunday, leaving, in most cases, a boat awaiting only final finish work.

Visitors can also try their hand at rowing or sailing a small boat at the Museum’s boat livery, or in one of the boats participating in the John Gardner Small Craft Workshop, which is run concurrently with the show by the Traditional Small Craft Association.

A highlight of the 2017 show will be deck tours of the Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre.  The reconstructed longship sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 2016 to explore and relive one of the most mythological sea voyages: the first transatlantic crossing and the Viking discovery of the New World more than 1,000 years ago.

Tours will run throughout the show, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The last tour each day is at 4:30 p.m. Tours will run every 30 minutes and cost $6 per person (Children age 3 and younger are free). Tickets will be available at the ship and online at www.drakenshop.com. Please note: The ticket is in addition to regular admission to Mystic Seaport.

Museum admission provides access to both The WoodenBoat Show and Mystic Seaport. Three-day passes are available.


Admission tickets can be purchased at the gate or online at mysticseaport.org/tickets.

Tickets for the Draken tours can be purchased at the ship or online at www.drakenshop.com.

About The WoodenBoat Show
The WoodenBoat Show is produced by WoodenBoat Publications, Inc., which includes WoodenBoat magazine, Professional BoatBuilder magazine, the WoodenBoat Store, the WoodenBoat School, and The WoodenBoat Show. The WoodenBoat Show is an annual festival celebrating the design and craftsmanship of wooden craft. For more information please visit www.thewoodenboatshow.com.

 About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country. The newly opened Thompson Exhibition Building provides a state-of-the-art gallery to host compelling, world-class exhibitions, beginning with the current show SeaChange. The Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport provides scholars and researchers from around the world access to the Museum’s renowned archives. Mystic Seaport is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $28.95 for adults ages 15 and older and $18.95 for children ages 4-14. Museum members and children three and younger are admitted free. For more information, please visit https://mysticseaport.wpengine.com/  and follow Mystic Seaport on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.


Louie Howland Receives William P. Stephens Award

Louie Howland receiving the William P. Stephens Award June 9, 2017
Louie Howland receiving the William P. Stephens Award June 9, 2017 in Marblehead, MA. Pictured left to right: Mystic Seaport President Steve White, Howland, John Rousmaniere, the 2014 recipient.

Mystic Seaport has honored yachting historian, author, and publisher Llewellyn Howland III with the William P. Stephens Award.

The award, established in 1988 and named for the man long known as the “Dean of American Yachtsmen” and “The Grand Old Man of American Yachting,” is given by Mystic Seaport in recognition of a significant and enduring contribution to the history, preservation, progress, understanding, or appreciation of American yachting and boating.

The award was presented to Howland June 9, 2017 at a ceremony hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA.

In his introductory remarks to the presentation, past recipient, yachting author and historian John Rousmaniere, praised Howland (Louie to his friends) not just for his writing, but also for his extensive role in editing and publishing:

“Those many books carrying the Howland name mark a contribution any writer would like to claim.  If I leave you with anything, it is my appreciation for Louie’s equally valuable contributions in the shadows of publishing and yachting history. Pick up an important and original book in our field – like Lines, Olin Stephens’ deeply personal commentary on his designs – there you will find Louie’s name mentioned in the acknowledgments. Why? Because he energized the project and helped make it happen.”

"No Ordinary Being: A Biography of W. Starling Burgess"

Howland is most recently the author of No Ordinary Being: W. Starling Burgess, Inventor, Naval Architect, Aviation Pioneer, and Master of American Design, a landmark biography of one of the most innovative naval architects of the 20th century. The book was published by David R. Godine in association with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Old Dartmouth Historical Society and Mystic Seaport.

Howland is a frequent contributor to WoodenBoat Magazine and has numerous other books, including Yachting in America (with Gerald Morris), On the Wind (with Calvin Siegal), and The New Bedford Yacht Club: A History.

Previous William P. Stephens Award recipients include: Rousmaniere, 2014; Betsy and B. Hunt Lawrence, 2013; George Moffett, 2011; Henry H. Anderson, Jr., 2009; Joseph Gribbins, 2001; Maynard Bray, 1999; Carleton Mitchell, 1997; Jon Wilson, 1996; Dick and Colleen Wagner, 1995; Waldo Howland, 1994; David “Bud” McIntosh, 1993; John Gardner, 1992; Briggs Cunningham, 1991; Elizabeth Meyer, 1990; William Garden, 1989; and Olin Stephens, 1988.