A 100-foot schooner ship out of Maine might be making a permanent home in Port Jefferson Harbor.
The proposal to bring the schooner to Port Jeff arrived on Mayor Margot Garant’s desk only a few days ago, and is before the board of trustees for review.
It will be discussed publicly at the next Village Board Meeting.
No final decision has been made, but in an email from Garant to GreaterPortJeff.com said the proposal “looks good” as the village has been looking to partner with a tall ship for a number of years.
The owners of the Halie & Matthew and village representatives have been in talks for months about making the harbor the ship’s permanent home.
“If that happens that would be an exciting thing for Port Jefferson,” said Village Historian Chris Ryan, when asked about the possibility.
A tall ship committee was formed last year to explore the arrangement.
Soundings of the depth of the harbor were taken last winter to make sure the schooner could dock here. The ship would berth at the village pier in Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, where the Seawolf, a marine research vessel for Stony Brook University, is currently docked.
Ryan said that the pier is a tight fit, but after measurements were taken it was found it would work for the Halie & Matthew.
He described the ship as having a 24-foot beam and 90-foot mast. It could hold up to 100 people.
The ship will be available for charters and events.
Port Jefferson’s maritime history is well-known, and continues to this day.
There were over 40 different shipbuilding yards in the village over the course of its history, and over 500 major ships were produced here, Ryan said.
The Halie & Matthew was launched in Eastport, Maine, in 2004. It was built by John Bishop and Capt. Butch Harris, according to reports in The Working Waterfront, a website that covers Maine’s coast and islands.
In 2010, the schooner assisted in relief efforts by bringing supplies to earthquake victims in Haiti. After that trip, the ship made port in Greenport and talks were underway to make that village its home, according to reports at the time. Those plans never came to fruition.
GreaterPortJeff reached out to the owners of the Halie & Matthew through a representative, but as of the writing of this article has not been contacted by them regarding the plan.
The representative confirmed the deal, and said the Halie & Matthew was going to have a “possible new home in Port Jefferson.”
Currently the ship is in Portland, Maine.
This is a developing news story and we will update with new information as it becomes available.