This Duxbury Duck is one of a historic class of vessels built by George Shiverick at his shop on the Jones River in 1928. It has been undergoing restoration in the same boatshop at Jones River Landing since 2006, by volunteers who have an interest in wooden boatbuilding or who just want to learn more about this maritime craft during our Wednesday evening Boatshop Open House. Shiverick was a renowned and prolific builder who operated his boatshop at the Landing from around 1895 to 1940.
Photos & Media
Slideshow: Reconstruction of the Merry Wing by Peter Arenstam
Mighty Duck floats again in Kingston by Kathryn Gallerani, Kingston Reporter
85-year-old sailboat back in the water thanks to dozens of volunteers by Sue Scheible, The Patriot Ledger.
Related videos: Relaunching of a 1928 Duxbury Duck | Old salts blissed out on Duxbury Ducks
Photos by Jimmy Powell & Iris Gallagher:
Volunteers who made the restoration possible:
John K. White
Reuben Smith & Sean O’Neill (2006–2008)
Peter Arenstam (2008–2013)
With special appreciation to Sherm Hoyt for the initial boat donation and incentive funding.
History of Merry Wing
There are many references that point to Jones River Landing as the “oldest continuously operating boatyard in the country”—some say, in North America. Until proven otherwise, we will proudly carry this legacy.
Boatbuilding on Jones River was established by the early 1700’s. The Landing yard in particular has a very rich history beginning with the fishing and trade vessels which helped establish not only the colonies, but the industry and inventiveness that ensured the Nation’s success. The first commissioned ship of the Continental Navy, the Brig Independence was built along these banks, as were major trading ships that set sail to the Mediterranean, China, Caribbean, and New Orleans.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the period of large sailing vessels had passed. Nate Watson had been building the Kingston lobster boats on the river just upstream on our Holmes/Watson site with his in-law, Captain E.A Ransom—both were America’s Cup Champions. The young George Shiverick was lured to the area from his Dennis home and began his impressive and stunning work on racing, sailing, motor boats and tenders. Shiverick built his shop at the Landing in the fall of 1895 and retired in 1940, having completed some 228 craft including a class of Duxbury Ducks.
The Merry Wing, one of the Ducks, was designed by John Alden and built by George Shiverick c. 1928. In all, he built twenty-one 18-footers for the racing fleet. We are told that many of this fleet were destroyed during the fury of Hurricane Carol in 1954. Sometime after, the hull of Merry Wing was rescued by Sherm Hoyt of Duxbury, who subsequently issued a challenge to the Landing’s first Boatshop Director, Reuben Smith. His challenge to restore Merry Wing came with an offer to pay for the materials needed, and was taken over in 2008 by current Boatshop Director, Peter Arenstam.
Hoyt’s $5,000 investment along with 80 volunteers at the Landing have saved and will set to sail the fully restored Merry Wing in this new era of Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth Bays. Fare thee well Merry Wing!