Sailors’ Series celebrates 25 years with diverse lineup Feb. 12 – May 7

Region’s staple lecture series on sailing examines vessels large, small and rediscovered

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The 25th annual Sailors’ Series celebrates its quarter-century mark with four illustrated lectures covering a wide variety of experiences by individuals with lifelong commitments to sailing, boats, and the sea at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, February 12 to May 7, 2015. The evening programs begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater, with a pre-lecture reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery.

The Series launches on Thursday, February 12 with “No Ordinary Being: An introduction to the life and times of W. Starling Burgess” presented by renowned author and historian Llewellyn Howland III. A native of South Dartmouth, Louie Howland has written and edited many books on aspects of American maritime and yachting history. In his illustrated lecture, Howland will take the measure of Starling Burgess, no ordinary man, no ordinary designer. A dominant figure in 20th century yacht design and aviation, Burgess’s legacy endures today. He designed three triumphant America’s Cup defenders, scores of distinctive sail and powerboats, and held patents in many fields. His charm was as legendary as his genius, and his design output was as prodigious as his talent. Yet he battled morphine addiction and ill-health during some of his most productive years, was married five times, and never achieved the wealth and security of which he dreamed. This program is sponsored by Luzo Auto Center.

On Thursday, March 19, John E. Conway will present “Tales of the Buckrammer.” Author John E. Conway has been boating and sailing in New England waters since 1960. Conway’s lecture will feature accounts from his most recent publication, “Buckrammer’s Tales,” including ghost stories, near disasters, family boating misadventures and tales of buried treasure. His photo-rich presentation features a short history of the catboat and its importance to coastal commerce from the 1850's to the 1920's in addition to behind-the-scenes insights into several chapters from his new book. A meet-the-author book signing will follow the presentation with proceeds donated to the Whaling Museum. This program is sponsored by Norpel.

On Thursday, April 23, A. Michael Pappalardo will present “The Berth of a Metropolis: the Discovery and Analysis of the Late 18th Century World Trade Center Ship.” A. Michael Pappalardo is an Archaeologist and Senior Technical Director at AKRF, Inc., a New York City based environmental planning and engineering firm. While providing archaeological monitoring for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey during construction of an underground parking facility at the World Trade Center, Pappalardo and his staff discovered the remains of a late 18th century merchant ship buried beneath almost 30 feet of fill. His presentation will cover the ship's discovery, documentation, and subsequent analysis. This program is sponsored by Norpel.

The Sailors’ Series concludes on Thursday, May 7 with Lloyd McCaffery’s presentation of “The World of Ships in Miniature.” Lloyd McCaffery has been working as an artist since 1963. He specializes in miniature ship models and miniature wood carvings.  His work is part of the permanent collection of Mystic Seaport, the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City, and the Museum of Yachting/IYRS. He will give an illustrated, behind the scenes look at the entire process of creating a work of art, from initial mental conception, to choice of media, tools, techniques, and aesthetic considerations.

Admission for individual lectures: Members: $15 / Non-Members: $20. Series: Members: $60 / Non-Members $80. For tickets, call (508) 997-0046, ext. 100 or online at Tweet the Sailors’ Series with hashtag #SailorsSeries25.


MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Poyant Moran
Senior Director of Marketing & Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Office: 508-997-0046 x139
Cell: 508-965-9861


About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours April through December: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum hours January through March: Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Open on Holiday Mondays. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. every second Thursday of the month and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  For more information, visit