MYSTIC, Conn. — Mystic Seaport has hired a veteran mariner to helm the restored Charles W. Morgan whaling ship.

Richard Files, of Rockland, Maine, will lead the 172-year-old wooden ship as it sails to ports across New England next summer. The museum has spent four years restoring the ship.

Museum spokesman Dan McFadden said Wednesday the number of qualified mariners is small and Files has the right experience and understands traditional sailing techniques.

Files has been a master of traditional sailing vessels since 1978.

He is primary captain of the 207-foot barque Elissa, owned and operated by the Galveston Historical Foundation and Texas Seaport Museum.

The Morgan also will travel to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay and participate in the centennial celebration of the Cape Cod Canal.

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