U.S. Navy’s First John Lewis-Class Oiler Launched at NASSCO
The first ship in the U.S. Navy’s new class of fleet replenishment oilers has been launched at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego. The John Lewis-class oilers will provide underway...
By Vincent Tavani
Why build a tall ship from scratch at the beginning of the twenty-first century?
A full-rigged, ocean-going ship hasn’t been attempted in the United States since 1904. SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, now in its final stages of construction at Hinckley Company in Portsmouth, is exactly that: a 500-ton, three-masted vessel, with square sails on all three masts, the tallest being 130 feet over the water. She takes her name from the Rhode Island-born hero of the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, whose pivotal victory was achieved beneath a flag emblazed with the words “Don’t Give Up the Ship!”
Though the heyday of the full-rigged ship may be past, the labor-intensive rig is prime training in the character values that will never be made obsolete.
For a sail-powered vessel, navigation as simple as changing direction is entirely contingent on wind direction and force. Doing so demands the coordination and cooperation of each member of the ship’s company. On a Sailing School Vessel like Oliver Hazard Perry, students are all trainees, participating fully in the Sail evolutions – bracing the yards, laying aloft to unfurl or stow, and trimming sail – as well as every other aspect of the ship, as a way of learning responsibility, teamwork, diligence, and good old seamanship. In addition to the hands-on learning in the rig, Oliver Hazard Perry has classroom spaces below deck outfitted with educational technology to allow schools to use her as a mobile campus and take advantage of the seafaring experience while building curriculum.
When not sailing for schools or universities, Oliver Hazard Perry will offer summer adventure programs for teens and traditional seamanship development for adults. In partnership with Ocean Navigator, a celestial navigation course for adults will take place on an autumn voyage to Lunenberg and another on a spring voyage to Bermuda.
Visit ohpri.org for more information.
All images courtesy OHPRI/Onne van der Wal
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