North America's First Ship

Nearly four hundred years ago a Maine sailing vessel launched America's love affair with shipbuilding.

In 1607 at the mouth of Maine's Kennebec River, a group of hardy English settlers established a fragile foothold on this coast, 13 years before the Pilgrams. They named it the Popham Colony after its benefactor and here they created the continent's first ocean going ship, a 30-ton pinnace, that they called the Virginia. In 1608 and 1609 the Virginia ranged Maine's coast, and voyaged across the Atlantic at least twice.

Today, a group of sailing enthusiasts and experts are trying to match the feat by building a replica of the Virginia along the same river where her namesake first settled into the water. You can follow their progress at their Web site