Situated in the historic Coffin School, the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies was established in 1996 to advance the scholarly study and appreciation of the history, literature, art, and maritime traditions of Nantucket Island. In addition to sponsoring research, educational programs, exhibits, and publications, the Egan Institute seeks to perpetuate the legacy of the school’s founder, Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, through its support of nautical training for the youth of Nantucket.
Nantucket Whaleboat Adventure Rowing Club
A partnership of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies,
Nantucket Community Sailing and Susan and James Genthner
(owners and operators of the Friendship sloop Endeavor)
Relive history aboard the Wanderer, an authentic reproduction of an original whaleboat. Learn the skills of the whalers and get great exercise. (Photos by Alexandra Fleming)
Ever wonder what it was really like to row after a whale? By training aboard the Wanderer, sailors of today get a one-of-a-kind experience that is physical, educational, and fun. All are welcome, from novice to experienced mariners. The program combines history with exercise as rowers learn the methods employed by whalers of old while plying the waters of Nantucket Harbor. The emphasis is on teamwork, as five rowers are required to pull together in a cooperative effort.
The Wanderer is a double-ended rowing and sailing boat built to the exact specifications as those used aboard American whaleships in the mid-nineteenth century. Ranging between 24 and 30 feet long, whaleboats were extremely seaworthy but could easily be rowed by a five-man crew. Although the whaleboat in its time was one of the most built boats in history, very few original boats exist today outside of museums. The Beetle whaleboat, built by Charles Beetle of New Bedford during the mid-1800s, is characterized by the curvature of the stern and bow chock construction. Built specifically for the sperm fishery, the Beetle whaleboat is 29 feet long and weighs 1,200 pounds. An original Beetle whaleboat can be seen in the Nantucket Whaling Museum. The Wanderer was built expressly for Sue and Jim Genthner by Christopher Emerson of Emerson Boatworks in Manchester-By-The-Sea, Mass., from plans originally drafted by Charles Beetle.
Now in its third year, the Nantucket Whaleboat Adventure Rowing Club meets during the summer months at Jetties Beach. Rowing times are agreed upon by club members. For more information, please call the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies at 228-2505.
DUTIES OF A WHALE-BOATS’ CREW
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Egan Institute of Maritime Studies
A member of the Albert F.Egan, Jr.
& Dorothy H. Egan Foundation
The Coffin School, 4 Winter St., Nantucket, MA 02554
Phone: 508-228-2505 Fax: 508-228-7069