For centuries, gundalows connected up-river Seacoast towns to Portsmouth, the region’s seaport and primary market town. Harnessing the wind and riding the tide, the sailing barges moved bricks, hay, firewood, and goods crucial to the economy and everyday life. The Gundalow Company in Portsmouth celebrates this history, protecting the Piscataqua region’s maritime heritage and environment through education and action.
A full-scale replica of the last commercially operated gundalow — the Capt. Edward H. Adams, built in 1886 — was constructed in Portsmouth in the 1980s. A second, named Piscataqua, after the river, was constructed in 2011 after a five-year fundraising and planning effort.
Operated by the nonprofit Gundalow Company, the Piscataqua provides sailing excursions and dockside programs up and down the Piscataqua River and around Great Bay. Trips depart Memorial Day through Columbus Day, from the dock at Prescott Park. Tickets are available on the organization’s website. The programs combine maritime heritage, marine ecology, history, science, mathematics, literature, social studies, and stewardship.
The Gundalow “Piscataqua” is also available for private charters from May through October, and can accommodate up to 46 people onboard.
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