Nautical Night

March 30, 2017

Our annual Nautical Night event celebrates the sea, and MIT’s rich history in nautical design and research. We’ve planned interactive demonstrations, short talks, and a rare chance to view plans and prints from our renowned collection. Visit from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. for this free event. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find:

Plot Your Course!

Learn a few basics about traditional navigation by plotting courses on a copy of a vintage chart of Narragansett Bay.

The Art of Traditional Boat Design 

Traditional half-hull model carving by Alden Burnham, boatbuilding instructor with Community Boat Building

Hart Nautical Collections Display

See a choice selection of original plans and beautiful marine prints on display, only during this program.

The Magic of Good Knots!

Learn to tie a few of the best knots that you can use in a thousand ways, on land or at sea, from a tall ship sailor.

Constructing "Old Ironsides" (presented by the USS Constitution Museum)

Explore the design, tools, American materials, and craftsmen who built and launched USS Constitution in 1797.

Draft a Boat

Using drafting tools and hand drawing skills, create part of Herreshoff’s Columbia as a line drawing. 

MIT Pappalardo Lab Herreshoff Steam Engine Project

A team of MIT students are building a steam engine based on plans at the MIT Museum as part of the part of the Pappalardo Lab apprentice program. One of the students will discuss the their process and bring patterns of several engine parts and show CAD drawings of the engine as it will look when completed. This engine will later be used as an interactive display in the Herreshoff Exhibition at the Museum in 2018.

Short Talks

Hear from Kurt Hasselbalch, the MIT Museum’s Curator, Hart Nautical Collection, and other nautical experts.