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Marco Polo replica project moving indoors

BY SANDRA DAVIS
Telegraph-Journal
Aug 04/04

    Construction of the Marco Polo is moving inside until next spring.
   The Saint John Port Authority has offered to let Barry Ogden and his team of labourers build the hull of a scaleddown replica of the famous sailing ship in a heated 6,100-square-metre shed at Pugsley C on Water Street.
   Mr. Ogden had hoped to start construction by the end of May, outside, in the vicinity of Long Wharf, but a wet spring delayed getting the white pine out of the woods.
   The wood is all milled to specifications and ready to be trucked from Penobsquis next week, said Mr. Ogden.
   The decision was taken to build the hull inside to allow work to continue all winter.
   "We've also got somebody who wants to build most of it for us," said Mr. Ogden, who declined to identify who that is.
   Several shopping malls also invited Mr. Ogden to use their facilities to house hull construction but the sites were not suitable.
   The shed won't be open so the public can view the hull being built but progress will be posted on the project's website (http-.//new-brunswick.net/ marcopolo) until the completed hull is moved next spring to be finished in front of the public next summer.
   Companies have come on board to help build the ship, he said, bringing the total in cash and gifts in kind to around $220,000, a fraction of his original $28-million proposal for a full-scale sailing replica that he began pushing for in the early 1990s.
   The Marco Polo model that's being built is a one-third scale, non-sailing, flat-bottomed version that is 27 metres (90 ft.) long with an 18-metre (60-foot) main mast.
   The original Marco Polo was launched from the yard of James Smith at Marsh Creek April 17, 1851. She was the largest ship the yard had built.
   On her most famous voyage, the Marco Polo sailed from Liverpool to Australia in just 76 days, making her the fastest ship in the world. Previous voyages had taken 100 to 120 days. She sank in July of 1883 off Cavendish.

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