By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Craftsmen at the Independence Seaport Museum are completing work on the second of two wooden whaleboats, which will be sent to a 19th century whaling ship being restored in Connecticut.

The whaleboats are replicas of the kind used by sailors in the 1800s to get close to the mammals, harpoon them and bring them closer to the larger whaling ship where their carcasses could be hauled aboard and harvested.

Hope Corse, of the Independence Seaport Museum, says the Philadelphia boats are among ten being built among preservation groups in seven states for use by one of the last whaling ships of the era.

“These boats are designed to be stacked up on the deck of a larger ship, like the Charles W. Morgan, and, then, they are about the size of a good-sized minivan,” says Corse.

She says Philadelphia’s second boat is due to be completed in June and both boats will be sent in July to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut where the Morgan is being restored.

She says they will eventually be returned to Philadelphia for exhibit and use by museum visitors for excursions into the Delaware River basin in front of the museum.

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