Birthday bash for traditional ketch Mabel

mabelboat
File photo by Tim Johnson

Vineyard Voyagers is throwing a birthday party Sunday, July 8, for its flagship vessel, Mabel. The 28-foot ketch is an adventurous ten years old this year. Vineyard Voyagers (vineyardvoyers.org) organizes training and discovery expeditions aboard Mabel.

“Mabel has been hauling to sea any young folks she can find with a spirit of adventure and personal discovery,” the nonprofit organization wrote in a news release.

The lapstrake double-ender designed by Martha’s Vineyard shipwright Myles Thurlow sails on day trips and longer voyages during the summer months, exploring Vineyard waters. Launched in 2002, she made her first long sailing voyage the following year with a crew from the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. They sailed to New York City, then up the Hudson River for the annual Great Hudson River Revival and Music Festival.

She will get a spruce-up for the party. This weekend Mabel will be hauled on the marine railway at Gannon & Benjamin on Vineyard Haven Harbor. Anyone who wants to lend a helping hand is welcome and encouraged to pitch in. The birthday party starts at 5 pm Sunday at the boatyard.