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Columbus ship replicas to visit Lorain

LORAIN — Replicas of two of the Spanish ships that brought Columbus to the West Indies in 1492 will dock in Lorain on Aug. 7.

Authenticity was sought in construction of the ships, said Capt. Stephen Sanger of the Columbus Foundation Inc., the British Virgin Islands-based, for-profit corporation that owns them. The replica of the Nina was built by about 20 men by hand without electricity or modern tools. Work took 21⁄2 years and was completed in 1991.

The Pinta took about three years to build and was completed in 2005. Sanger said some electricity was used. Both ships use modern equipment to sail.

The company chose not to build a replica of the Santa Maria due to its size, Sanger said. The ship was used as a cargo ship in 1492. Sanger said it would have needed water at least 14 feet deep to dock. The Nina and Pinta need about seven feet.

The Nina has visited more than 1,000 ports including 10 trips to the Panama Canal. The Pinta has visited about 250 ports.

Lorain, where the ships will stay until Aug. 12, is one of at least 12 stops they will make this year and is part of the Great Lakes portion of the annual voyages. Ticket sales to tour the ships pay for voyages, Sanger said.

The ships visited Lorain in 2010.

Sanger, 27, said he had a lot of sailing experience while growing up in the Virgin Islands. However, he said most of the crew are volunteers who first boarded the ships as tourists. Sanger, hired in 2008, said besides historical lessons, the goal of the tour is to encourage young people to learn about sailing.

“Everyone should do it at a young age,” he said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

If You Go

  • Replicas of the Nina and Pinta are scheduled to dock at Black River Landing, 421 Black River Lane, Lorain, on Aug. 7 and depart on Aug. 12. Tours begin Aug. 8. For tour and ticket information, go to thenina.com.

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