Log in

Log in

NRG 2019 Annual Conference

New Bedford

The 2019 Nautical Research Guild conference was held on October 24-26 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA.  

The three-day conference included incredible speakers on a range of topics, hands-on round tables, and tours of the Herreshoff Marine Museum and the Naval Warfare College Museum.

The conference also included a fantastic banquet held on Friday night at the Wayport Event Center.

Thursday Tours

The 2019 conference included two amazing tours.  Attendees had the opportunity to take guided tours of both the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI and the Naval Warfare College Museum in Newport, RI.  

The Herreshoff Marine Museum includes fantastic exhibits covering the history of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and the America’s Cup.  You can find more information about current exhibits and what’s on display at the Herreshoff Marine Museum website at

The Naval Warfare College Museum tour was a great opportunity to visit a historic museum located at the Naval Warfare College at the US Naval Station in Newport.   More information is available on their webste at


The 2019 NRG Conference featured a great lineup of speakers on a range of topics.  

Friday’s lineup included technical sessions that provided practical information model making techniques, while Saturday’s schedule included sessions on general topics and maritime history.

Friday Technical Sessions

Toni Levine

Toni Levine discussed planking model ships.  As a special addition, her lecture used the NRG’s half hull modeling project as a subject.  

David Antscherl

The Harbour Hoy Hayling; the model of an unusual subject.

Bill Maxwell

Bill Maxwell discussed the types and construction of ships pumps.

Saturday General Sessions

Evelyn Ansel 

Evelyn Ansel discussed the Haffenreffer-Herreshoff digitization project at the MIT Museum and the online resources it offers to ship modelers.

Walter Ansel

Mystic Seaport staff member Walter Ansel will discuss the development of the whale boat and the construction of the whale boat.

Paul Fontenoy

Paul Fontenoy gave a presentation on the myths and realities of Blackbeard and pirates.

Dr. D. K. Abbass 

Dr. D.K. Abbass with the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) presented to our group.  RIMAP is the not-for-profit organization which has been researching the fleet of thirteen British transports scuttled in Newport, RI’s outer harbor in 1778 during the American Revolution.  Archaeological and historical evidence seems to indicate the transport Lord Sandwich in that sunken fleet had been Captain Cook’s Endeavor bark on his first circumnavigation of the world.  Dr. Abbass presented her latest findings regarding the identity of the Lord Sandwich/Endeavor.

Doug Tolbert

Doug Tolbert demonstrated using Ship Index to identify potential sources of information when performing research.

Round Tables

One of the most popular events at past NRG conferences returned again for 2019.  

Each round table was led by an expert, and featured interactive discussion, questions and answers, and hands-on demonstrations. Each group was kept small to ensure the discussion is intimate and focused.

The 2019 NRG Conference featured round tables led by:

    • David Antscherl – Spar making or look, no lathe!
    • Toni Levine – Spiling & planking the half hull
    • Ron Nielson – Demonstration on making sails
    • Dan Pariser – How to make realistic shrouds & ratlines

Annual Banquet

The conference banquet was be held on Friday night, October 25, 2019 at the Waypoint Event Center at the Fairfield Inn and Suites New Bedford.  The Waypoint Event Center is a former whale oil processing plant.

The banquet speaker was Akeia A.F. Benard, PhD, Curator of Social History at the New Bedford Maritime Museum.

Event photos courtesy of Thomas Ruggiero.

Top of Page Photo Credits: (Left) "Lagoda", largest ship model in existence, at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  (Center) Naval Warfare College Museumbuilding.  (Right) Boats on display at the Herreshoff Marine Museum.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software