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Mass. looking for help refurbishing schooner

April 30, 2012
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BOSTON—The schooner Ernestina -- the official ship of Massachusetts -- needs a makeover and state officials are asking for help.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation says it is seeking an outside party interested in rehabilitating, reusing and maintaining the Ernestina in return for a long-term lease.

Initial responses are due by July 25 and will be followed by a request for bids.

The ship, which is docked at the New Bedford State Pier, was built in 1894 for the Gloucester fishing fleet. It was sold to a Canadian sea captain in 1925 and once sailed within 600 miles of the North Pole.

Ernestina was returned to the U.S. in 1982 as a gift from the Cape Verdean people and served as an educational vessel until 2005.

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