Friends of Friendship

Friendship of Salem at home in Derby Wharf

Friendship of Salem at home in Derby Wharf

Friends of Friendship is the philanthropic arm of The Salem Partnership that supports maintenance and programming on Salem’s iconic Friendship of Salem.

Preserving Our Friendship

Taking care of the Friendship of Salem is a major effort for a lot of partners (the National Park Service, the Salem Partnership, Essex National Heritage Commission, talented ship industry companies, and...YOU!). Salem Maritime National Historic Site manages the ship to ensure that the public can appreciate New England and America's maritime heritage by stepping aboard and exploring a tall ship and its stories. Anyone with a boat can tell you that small details can't be ignored or they'll grow into complicated concerns. Regularly hauling the ship out of the water for inspections and repairs are critical to a long lasting, well used ship.

Work on the hull and drive systems as well as on the stem has just been completed while hauled out between 2016 and 2019. Upcoming work will include completely replacing the main deck to prevent water infiltration and to replace some rotted timbers.

Regular repairs to wood and paint is conducted on the yards and masts (those are the long wooden pieces in the waterfront area). When the ship's main deck is ready, these piece will be moved back into place and the rigging will be built to support the sails.

Maintenance work on the Friendship of Salem is conducted in the open, on the ship, and in Pedrick's Warehouse (aka the Sail Loft). Feel free to ask questions of the volunteer crew members and park rangers helping to keep our Friendship vibrant and strong.

Questions and sponsorship requests: bdebski@salempartnership.org

Our Vision

Friends of Friendship is currently focused on supporting and expanding three key programs for the Friendship:

  1. Maritime Skills Program

Engaging teenagers and young adults in maritime industry skills is a critical national concern as well-paying maritime industry jobs go unfilled.  A maritime skills program on the Salem waterfront will be a stepping-stone for trade-oriented students with an interest in vessel maintenance, repair, construction and operations.

Friends of Friendship expect to work with the successful Essex Heritage youth employment program to expand a “Future Mariner” program.  Anticipated annual costs from $30-$50,000.

2. Maritime Programming

Cultural enrichment experiences such as performing and fine arts help put Salem on the map.  Maritime programs will emphasize the nature of coastal New England culture and support engagement of North Shore communities with ocean resources.

Friends of Friendship expect to work with local cultural organizations to deliver land and ship-based experiences to enhance the quality of life in our communities.  Anticipated annual costs ranging from $50 - $100,000.

3. Sail Salem Sound

NPS hopes to provide daylong sailing experiences ten days each summer by navigating Salem Sound under sail.  The sails will be free to the public through a lottery system.  Visitor programming while under way and expenses associated with ship operations are what the Friends of Friendship will support.

Friends of Friendship and the National Park Service expect to collaborate with tourism organizations to promote a totally unique tall ship experience.  Anticipated annual costs range from $50 -$75,000.