Wavertree through the years>
  1. 1886
  2. 1910
  3. 1911
  4. 1947
  5. 1968
  6. 2016
  7. 2022-
Wavertree is the last cargo ship of its kind. Although it looks almost identical now to when it was first created, many things have changed about it over the years.


Wavertree in 1886

Wavertree is built in South Hampton, England


It is a Cargo ship whose purpose is to transport Jute from Scotland to East India

Wavertree crew

It is manned by a captain, sailors, and galley workers


wavertree in 1910

The Wavertree’s masts are heavily damaged in a storm off of Cape Hope. It limps over to Falkland Islands

coal, rice, kerosenem tea, and cotton

The Wavertree had become part of the tramp trade, shipping coal, rice, kerosene, tea, and cotton all over

injured crew

Though none died, many of the crew members were severely injured in their attempt to make the ship watertight during the storm


Map of Chile

Not wanting to invest in Wavertree’s restoration, the ship's owners sell its hull to Punta Arenas, Chile

Wavertree sold

There it is used as a floating warehouse


Map of Argentina

After a few years, the Wavertree is sent to Buenos Aires Argentina

Wavertree in 1968

Where it is converted into a sand barge


Map of NYC

Karl Kortum, a historic ship advocate, discovers it. He convinces the Southstreet Seaport museum to acquire it

Wavertree in 1967

The ship is restored at the Arsenal Naval Buenos Aires and towed to New York, Where it will go to act as the flagship for the museum’s collection of historic ships


Staten Island Fix

Wavertree is sent to Staten Island’s Caddell Dry Dock

Wavertree restored

There the Wavertree undergoes a fifteen month, thirteen million dollar renovation to fully restore it to its original vessel condition

Department of Cultural Affairs

The restoration is funded by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs


Wavertree now

The restored Wavertree is now a highlight of the Southstreet Seaport Museum, and free to the public for viewing!


It is supported by public and private donations, grants, and the income from the Museum’s Ferry rides

Wavertree now

The Wavertree is staffed by crew members, volunteers, and a bread guy, and is a place where families, friends, tourists, and educational groups can come to freely explore and learn about its history and significance

If you are interested in supporting the South Street Seaport, whether through volunteering or donating, click here!

Department of Cultural Affairs
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