SSV Oliver Hazard Perry Moves to Senesco Marine

Rhode Island’s Education-at-Sea School Ship, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, tested the waters of Providence Harbor and upper Narragansett Bay Monday, December 12, when it was launched at Sims Metal Management (formerly Promet Marine) in Providence, R.I. and towed to its new home at Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, R.I.. At Senesco Marine, one of the Northeast’s premier shipyards for new construction and vessel repair, the non-profit organization Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) will continue building the 196-foot (sparred length) steel-hulled ship.

“Up until now we’ve been mostly laying groundwork,” said OHPRI Construction Supervisor Rick Williams. “This whole year has been devoted to welding, repairs and inspections, but now we are entering the real building stage. Senesco is where all the major construction will be taking place.” Williams explained that this includes the fabrication of fuel and wing tanks; installation of the lower deck as well as machinery, engines, and generators; fabrication of the new topsides, weather deck, bulwarks and transom; and the stepping of the ship’s three masts.

Before hitting the water, the bottom of SSV Oliver Hazard Perry’s hull was painted with supplies donated by OHPRI Marine Trades Partner Interlux Yacht Paint. The ship was towed approximately 18 miles from Sims to Senesco by Reagan Construction Corp., also an OHPRI Marine Trades Partner.

“We’re very excited about the new location and the fact that the ship can remain in Rhode Island for completion,” said Williams, adding that Senesco Marine has been building steel vessels on 26 acres of land at Quonset Point since 1999. “Senesco will fit the bill perfectly.”

Since the hull was first bought by OHPRI in 2007 from a Canadian group, the organization has worked to create a network of donors and suppliers to help build the ship while focusing on the maritime heritage of Rhode Island. The list of OHPRI Marine Trades Partners continues to grow rapidly and includes Furuno USA, Hall Spars and Rigging, Harken, Hood Sailmakers, KVH Industries, Matthew Smith Naval Architect, Milton CAT, Newport Harbor Corporation, Ocean Navigator Publishing and Onne van der Wal Photography.

”These fine companies, representing the best of Rhode Island’s world renown marine industries, have stepped up to become partners, stretching our precious resources as we create this floating education facility,” said Williams. “We appreciate their involvement and invite others to join in.”

More About OHPRI:
Transforming the traditional classroom experience, OHPRI is bringing experiential learning to life with the construction of Rhode Island’s Education-at-Sea School Ship, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. OHPRI’s mission is to offer students of all ages a platform for experience-based education that supports and promotes tall ship sail training, marine trade workforce development, as well as marine conservation and environmental stewardship.

By 2013 – once its deck, masts, rigging, sails and electronics have been added – the ship will be the flagship for Rhode Island, sailing as a 196-foot (sparred length) working vessel and supporting itself with education-at-sea programs. When not performing educational objectives offshore, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be prominently displayed and available to the public in Newport and in other Rhode Island and New England ports to help promote tourism and generate new business.

Becoming a Marine Trades Partner:
Members of the marine industry can help build the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry through monetary donations, products or services (in-kind or wholesale).

To become an OHPRI Marine Trades Partner, please contact OHPRI Construction Supervisor Rick Williams, 401.841.0080,

For more information about OHPRI visit or contact Vice-Chair Perry Lewis at OHPRI headquarters, Buliod-Perry House, 29 Touro Street, Washington Square, Newport, R.I., 401.841.0080.

Follow OHPRI on Facebook at

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons