, Gloucester, MA

March 14, 2013

Rockporter talks shipbuilding in Boston

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — ROCKPORT — A Rockport shipwright will talk about his trade and shipbuilding in New England this weekend in Boston.

Leon Poindexter will be the center of attention at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum 2013 Speaker Series on Saturday at the Boston museum from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

A consultant to maritime museums around the world, Poindexter will discuss shipbuilding in New England, the influence the ships and their captains played before, during and after the Boston Tea Party, as well as the creation of the replicas of the historic ships, the Beaver and the Eleanor, for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.

The Beaver and the Eleanor were built in Essex and restored over a year in 2012 at the Gloucester Marine Railways in Rocky Neck under Poindexter’s supervision. The work, said Poindexter, was done the way shipbuilders did it more than 200 years ago, down to driving 22,000 nails through 350 sheets of copper on the boat’s bottom by hand.

Although a time table has not been set, Poindexter and his crew will also build a replica of the last of the three Tea Party ships, the Dartmouth, from the keel up.

Besides the Tea Party ships, Poindexter has worked on many other important ships, including the USS Constitution and HMS Bounty. He was the master shipwright in recreating the HMS Surprise, used in the Academy Award-winning movie “Master and Commander” starring Russell Crowe.

Poindexter, who learned his trade from some of the last of the “old timers” who worked in the famed shipyards of Essex and Gloucester, will also be bring many of the traditional tools still used in shipbuilding.

Tickets for the event are $35 for adults, $15 for children age 17 and younger, and include a supper of clam chowder, corn bread and beer or lemonade. Tickets secured by calling the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum at 1-617-338-1773 or can be purchased at the museum’s ticket booths at 306 Congress St. on the Congress Street Bridge in Fort Point Channel in Boston.

For more information on the museum go to