Sidetracking the MORGAN

Watch as shipwrights sidetrack the 300-ton whaleship in less than two minutes in this special timelapse video.

After nearly five years out of the water, the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan took the first step on her journey back to the Mystic River on Monday, June 24. Beginning early in the morning, shipyard staff cleaned the area around the rails and rigged a long chain and four chain falls to the side of the ship’s cradle. These were attached to four eyebolts bolted to the concrete on the far side of the tracks. When the start signal was given, staff members systematically cranked link-by-link to draw the ship onto the new track. Now that she is in alignment with the lift track, each of the wheels supporting the cradle will be rotated 90 degrees do she can roll lengthwise.

The next major step occurs Wednesday, June 26, when the 300-ton ship is rolled approximately 200 feet out onto the shiplift. This will be the vessel’s final move before her July 21 launch.

Watch the sidetracking process in this timelapse video: