The 39-foot schooner Ginny Marie has made its temporary home in Port Jefferson, leaving another tally for community members, officials and historians trying to bring in tall ships to the historic harbor.
Captain of the Ginny Marie, Brian Murphy, is a Northport resident and retired Stony Brook University Hospital nurse of 16 years. He said he wanted to bring in this boat to share his love of being out on the water at the mercy of the wind.
“I just want to thank everyone, bring people out and sail,” Murphy said. “I love people, and I love bringing attention on the boat.”
The type of schooner design dates back to William Atkin in 1927. This more modern version of those vessels started being built in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until 18 years later that the Ginny Marie actually launched. Other than a more modern countertop, the boat builders wanted much of it to be without current technologies and amenities.
Other than that, a number of interesting pieces dot the ship’s design. Behind the boat’s wheel stands a binnacle, a “museum piece,” Murphy said. The cleats, or the anvil-shaped devices to which the ropes are tied, are shaped like alligators, dragons are carved into the end of the flagstaff and the vessel even includes an old, verdigris-covered belaying pin from the Shanty, an Atkin-designed vessel.
“It took them 18 years to do this, and you end up with a very unique boat,” the Ginny Marie captain said.
The two-masted schooner is allowed six passengers and a crew, which currently includes Murphy and a fellow seaman who’s training aboard. The dimensions include the 39-feet on deck, plus an 8-foot bowspirit. It weighs 16 tons with an 11.5-foot beam, a 6-foot draft and a 34-foot waterline.
Chris Ryon, Port Jeff village historian and member of the Tall Ship Committee, said they will continue to bring more ships into the harbor. Last year brought in multiple crafts, including the historical 120-foot Amistad and much smaller Lady Maryland.
“I’m so happy to have a schooner here,” Ryon said. “Port Jefferson deserves a schooner.”
The Ginny Marie is moored at the dock next to Harborfront Park for people to see and potentially speak to its captain. The boat is expecting to host small charters at $55 a head, six people at a time for two hours, three times a day.
What’s the best thing about sailing?
“The best part about sailing is you get off the dock, you hoist those sails and you’re gone,” Murphy said.