Reconstructing the 1607 Pinnace Virginia of Sagadahoc
The pinnace Virginia was the first English ocean-going ship built in the Americas. It was built in 1607-1608 at the Popham Colony’s Fort St George located near the mouth of the Kennebec River. There were about 100 colonists (all men and boys) including a shipwright Mr Digby of London. Virginia was built to aid in coastal exploration and fishing, but was repurposed when the colony was abandoned in October 1608 and was used to return some of the colonists to England. The building of Virginia is the beginning of Maine’s 400 year tradition of quality shipbuilding. During her lifetime Virginia crossed the Atlantic at least twice including a trip to the Jamestown colony.
Maine’s First Ship is building a 51 foot reconstruction of the Virginia, meeting Coast guard requirements allowing it to be used as a floating classroom for students of all ages.
Viginia is being built by a crew of volunteers at the Bath Freight Shed. The hull is nearing completion and much of the rigging is built. The plan to launch in 2020 was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are still some large items in progress including building a wharf, and fitting the engine. After launch the rigging must be done.