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The Restoration of the Beaver & the Eleanor

From the “Shipwright’s Log” Video Series – Episode 1

Master shipwright Leon Poindexter takes oars in hand to give the viewer a unique perspective on the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum two restored Revolutionary War Era vessels, the Beaver and the Eleanor.


Speaking: Master Shipwright, Leon Poindexter
Caption text provided by Google/Youtube “Automatic Captions”*

– hi, i’m leon poindexter and we’re here in fort point channel. this used to be the actual waterfront of boston. this is where the boston tea party happened and we’re coming up now on the eleanor.

– and what we’re gonna see is the new view of eleanor that we haven’t seen before. she of course was built out of an old fishing vessel from Gloucester. she’s about 89 feet on deck with bowsprit. in all she’s probably over 115, 120 feet long.

– we’re coming up on the eleanor’s stern right now. she’s got two sets of galleries. across the stern is what’s called a stern gallery and on the side are the quarter galleries the next thing we are coming up to here is the channels.

– and on top of the channels as you can see are the dead eyes and this is what holds the rig outboard of the vessel all these channels of course are have got chain plates so that the iron work is fasten into the side of the vessel and this whole system is what puts the tension on the shrouds to keep the mast stable.

– so what is the most prominent and most beautiful feature of the Eleanor of course is a figurehead. john roe the owner and his wife never had any children of their own so he decided to name eleanor after a niece and that’s of course was Eleanor.

– we don’t have any pictures of Eleanor but we have read that Eleanor looked just like her mother except we don’t have any pictures of her mother. but it turns out that eleanor’s mother was john roe’s wife’s twin sister and we do pictures have of her.

– so this is what eleanor looked like. the man on the medallion is of course john roe himself. So there you have john roe and his niece, Eleanor… and a family portrait.

– after looking at eleanor’s figurehead the beaver course was of course a quaker vessel and instead of carrying a figurehead she carried what we call billet head. a billethead is a very fancy scroll the quakers were not into using our fancy figurehead a little more simple bill if you have a more modest adornment for the bow the vessel.

– gary anderson of connecticut carved both the eleanor figurehead and figurehead and this handsome billethead for the beaver above the billethead. here you can see the bowsprit following the head rails back you go to the cat head and the anchor.

– then of course you can see the rig here the rig is a brig brig means its a two masted ship with square sails on both masts.

– well the museum is fully open visitors are coming down and enjoying the ships are we still have a few details to take care of and working right along on that but that’s about all the time we have and I need to get back aboard and check on what we are doing

*Please note that Google/Youtube “Automatic Captions” may not have captured the content of the speaker(s) on this video accurately. Please report any errors you find on this website via the contact us form.

Leon Poindexter Profile Picture

Leon Poindexter

A master shipwright, Leon Poindexter builds, repairs and restores large, traditionally built historic wooden sailing vessels and their rigs. As a veteran with more than 30 years of industry experience, Mr. Poindexter is known for his artistry and has worked on many vessels on the National Register of Historic Places....

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