Rhode Island's official Sailing Education Vessel, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, which will be completed in 2014 as a 196-foot, three-masted, square rigged tall ship, was towed from Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, R.I. to Newport today for hauling and painting at the Newport Shipyard. The public has not seen the ship, whose namesake is Rhode Island’s naval war hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, since the hull left Newport Harbor three years ago for the next phase of its construction.
Today, with only the lower third of her three masts stepped and a bow sprit half the size of what it will be, the tall ship made a massive impression as it passed under the Newport Bridge and dwarfed boats in Newport Harbor.(Newport, R.I. (June 21, 2013).
The ship, in this uncompleted stage but with a new paint job, will be dockside at the Newport Shipyard for a fund raising event on Friday July 5th and at Fort Adams on Saturday and Sunday July 6th and seventh where public visits will be hosted. A formal dedication of the ship, also for the public, takes place Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. at Fort Adams.
The public Dedication Ceremony for the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry can be observed at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July sixth, dockside at the Alofsin Pier at Fort Adams, where the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will make her weekend appearance before returning to Senesco Marine for completion. Public visits will take place immediately following until four p.m. that afternoon and resume on Sunday from 10 a.m. until four p.m. (All weekend activities are free to the public, and parking is free at Fort Adams.)
The Dedication Gala on Friday, July 5th at six p.m. is a ticketed event at the Newport Shipyard that includes cocktails and dinner, dessert and dancing, as well as a raffle and live auction to raise funds for the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, which will be dockside during the event. The fundraiser honors the leadership of OHPRI Chairman Emeritus, Vice Admiral Thomas R. Weschler, USN (Ret.), who has been a driving force behind tall ship events in Rhode Island since he volunteered to help manage the 1976 Bicentennial event in Newport. The acquisition of the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry in 2008, and its subsequent design, funding and construction is a direct result of his energy, leadership, and personal commitment to the project.
For more details on all Dedication Weekend events or to purchase tickets for the Friday, July 5th Dedication Gala, call (401) 841-0080, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website where details and a downloadable Dedication Evening Registration form can be found. Tickets for the Gala start at $75 (dessert and dancing) and $200 (cocktails, dinner, dessert and dancing).