Focus Session: Material Acquisition for Vessel Construction and Restoration

Material Acquisition for Vessel Construction and Restoration

Presentations (PDF)
Dana Hewson
Margherita Desy
Harold Burnham

This panel, consisting of Dana Hewson, President for Watercraft Preservation and Programs, Margherita M. Desy, Historian, USS CONSTITUTION, and Harold Burnham, Burnham Boat Building, will discuss the challenges of acquiring materials, ranging from wood to iron, of the right size and quality for large timber restorations. The panel will discuss sourcing, repurposing, and sometimes altering the material for safety or need.

Dana Hewson
Dana Hewson


Dana Hewson is Vice President for Watercraft Preservation and Programs and Clark Senior Curator for Watercraft at Mystic Seaport. He has worked at the Museum for over 39 years. His areas of responsibility include the activities and operations of the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard Department, the Watercraft Programs Department as well as curatorial responsibility for the Watercraft Collection. He has served in ad advisory capacity for numerous vessel restoration projects and assisted with the development of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Maritime Preservation, published in 1990. In 2001 he received the Don Turner Award from the USS CONSTITUTION Museum for lifetime achievement in the preservation of watercraft.

Marguerita Desy
Margherita Desy

Margherita M. Desy is the historian for the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston and USS Constitution. She has previously worked for Historic New England, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, and, for 20 years, at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut.

Ms. Desy has a BA in History & Art History from the College of the Holy Cross, an MA in American Civilization from The George Washington University, and has studied at Sotheby’s Institute in London. She has been published in scholarly and popular journals and has been script advisor and on-camera historian for several PBS television shows and documentaries broadcast in the U.S. and Europe.

Harold Burnham
Harold Burnham

Harold Burnham grew up in the shipyards of Essex and is known for utilizing traditional “sawn fame and trunnel fasting methods” on his adaptations of historic Cape Ann designs for commercial passenger use. Some of his “passenger fishermen” include, the Fredonia schooner THOMAS E. LANNON, The Privateer FAME, and his family boat the pinky ARDELLE all of which are certified by the Coast Guard for 49 passengers. He has worked on repaired and consulted on a number of other historic vessels and preservation projects including the Gundalow Piscataqua, The Schooner Adventure, the Evelina M. Goulart and the Ernestina Morrissey on which he is working as owner’s representative. Other current projects include operating Ardelle, Managing his own projects and serving as president of the Essex Historical Society and Ship Building Museum.



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