38R Merrimac Street, Newburyport, MA  01950  |  978.462.6680  |

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The World's Only Gundalow Sails on the Merrimack River Sept 6-12

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September 05, 2017
We're excited to announce that the gundalow PISCATAQUA will be sailing on the Merrimack River from September 6-12, with trips open to the public each day. Sails start from the boardwalk behind Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, or Lowell's Boat Shop in Amesbury.
For those not familiar with the PISCATAQUA, she is a re-creation of the gundalow river boats that were once a prevalent throughout our local waterways. Before roads and railroads, gundalows carried goods such as salt hay, bricks, and lumber from towns up the rivers, relying on the tides to travel. With a flat bottom, they could rest in shallow water during a low tide, then set out down the rivers carrying their cargo to the river mouth to be loaded onto other ships. Sails were later added for extra speed and maneuvering, and evolved to use the lateen rig, which can be lowered so the boats can pass under fixed bridges, especially important in the mid-1800s as railroads were developed.
The PISCATAQUA was built at Portsmouth's Strawbery Banke Museum in 2011, and usually is seen sailing on the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth/Kittery, but makes the occasional visit to other docks along nearby rivers. Our crew onboard tell stories, demonstrate hands-on arts of the sailor, and measure water qualities with our guests. While on the Merrimack River, we have several sail types including our popular History Sails, Concert Cruises, Discovery Sails, and other specials. Each sail is 1.5 to 2 hours in length.
We are now accepting reservations for these sails at or by phone at 603.433.9505. Tickets can also be purchased on the boat, if available.