After sailing up and down the East Coast for almost two decades, this wooden schooner is now calling the Port Jefferson Village Dock home.
Her name is the Ginny Marie, and she has an interesting history, captain Brian Murphy tells GreaterPortJeff.
Dave Clarke, the 48-foot boat’s original owner, decided to build his own traditional wooden schooner in the ’80s. Patterned after a William Atkin schooner built in 1927, he hired Winfield Lash of Lash Brothers Boat Yard in Friendship, Maine to build the hull.
Other parts of the vessel were salvaged off a 1910 steam launch. Murphy said that instead of buying new parts, Clarke wanted to build with what he had — a boat made up of different pieces of history.
After years of building, she was put into the water in 2000 and has since had three names. Most recently, the Ginny Marie was docked up in Mystic, Connecticut, where it was known as the Crusader.
Murphy worked in the commercial fishing industry for decades. He eventually left to pursue a career in nursing at Stony Brook University Hospital but went back to his love of sailing after his retirement two years ago.
“We had it up in Connecticut and couldn’t get to her because of the coronavirus,” he said. “But we finally brought her home about a week ago.”
He wanted to keep her in Northport, where he currently resides, he said. But after looking at different options and talking with the village, he decided to place her in Port Jefferson for people to enjoy.
“The village has been great,” he said. “They’re really in touch with their maritime history.”
The Ginny Marie is named after Murphy’s wife, an homage to her helping him make his dream of owning a schooner come true.
And now he’s turning his purchase into an attraction for others. He just received confirmation to make the schooner an LLC and will be offering sailing trips for people soon.
“The plan is to have six passengers on board at a time, three trips a day for $55 per person,” he said. “The interest has been incredible.”
The ride will be about 2 hours.
While Murphy is putting the finishing touches on the ship’s website, he said that bookings will be offered at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Reservations will begin next week when the site is officially up and running.
Since she’s been parked next to the Seawolf by Harborfront Park, he said that he’s excited for people to climb aboard and view the sound with his tours.
“This is their harbor and it’s important for people to take advantage of what we have available to us on Long Island, “If you love the water, there’s no better way to enjoy the sound.”
Photos by Julianne Mosher
Top: Ginny Marie with its captain, Brian Murphy