What We Do

Sarah O'Connor discussing sail furling techniques, 2007.

Sarah O'Connor discussing sail furling techniques, 2007.

The Merganser travels on average to 3-5 historical reenactment events each summer. What we do depends on the exact nature of the event, but at every engagement we wear clothing based on sailors’ outfits from the time period in question and interact with the public as living historians, discussing topics ranging from sailmaking to sea chanteys to food preservation. We usually set up a shore camp, but have been known to sleep on the boat in areas where the camping space is tight.

At most historical reenactments we engage in (simulated) armed battles with other boats as part of our presentation to the public. (We fire real guns; we just do not use any projectiles – we’re firing blanks.) Most of the events we participate in are commemorating battles from the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, or War of 1812. These events are sponsored by towns or state/federal historical agencies, and can draw upwards of several thousand people in a weekend.

However, we also occasionally help out with other kinds of events – one annual event we try to make is the Kids’ Pirate Festival put on by the¬† Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. It’s a great chance to hang out dockside on the boat for a day or two and educate about the myths and realities of “pyrates.” (And every once in a while, we go out into the harbor and make some loud noises with the guns.)

Chris with the smallest of our swivel guns, at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Kids' Pirate Festival, 2007.

Chris with the smallest of our swivel guns, at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Kids' Pirate Festival, 2007.

When Heron is complete, she will be also engaging in the same activities and events, just on a larger scale. All our vessels are trailerable.

Looking for a historic boat for your next waterfront event or pirate festival? Drop us a line!

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