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Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Master Shipwright Leon Poindexter

March 29, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Leon Poindexter is a master shipwright of several historic vessels and replicas and consultant to numerous maritime museums. He builds, repairs and restores large traditionally built historic wooden sailing vessels and their rigs.

Many of his vessels are on the National Register of Historic Places.  Leon learned his trade from some of the last of the “old timers” who worked in the famed shipyards of Essex and Cape Ann, Massachusetts.  He has more than 30 years experience in this trade. Leon has worked on many important vessels, including the USS CONSTITUTION and the USS MASSACHUSETTS. He was the master shipwright for and created the HMS Surprise, used in the Academy Award-winning movie “Master and Commander” starring Russell Crowe.

Leon is the architect and contractor for the Boston Tea Party Ships at the Gloucester Marine Railway, the nation’s oldest shipyard in Gloucester, Mass.  He has restored and retrofitted two vessels, the full rigged ships Eleanor and theBeaver, for the Boston Tea Party ShipsSM & Museum.

The Beaver replica is more than 100 years old and was originally built in Denmark as a Baltic fishing/cargo schooner.  Leon has re-designed the Beaver‘stopsides and deck to better represent the original Beaver, a whale ship from Nantucket. This vessel underwent re-timbering and re-planking of the topsides and bow, replacement of the stern, deck, bulwarks, lower masts, bowsprit and rigging.

The ship Eleanor is a re-creation of a second Boston Tea Party ship and is 90 feet on deck. Work included new sides, deck, stern and quarter galleries, bow and all rigging. Leon has completed drawings for a third Tea Party ship, theDartmouth, to be newly built from the keel up, will begin construction in late 2014/early 2015.

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