SALEM — The Hannah Glover is being reinvented.
The boat, a longtime fixture of Pickering Wharf, has been purchased by the Mahi Mahi cruise company, rehabbed and fixed up. Its inaugural cruise was last week.
It’s one of a few changes happening at Salem’s waterfront as the busy summer season kicks off.
Also new to Salem is a stand-up paddling company, offering lessons and tours from Dead Horse Beach, just outside Salem Willows. And, of course, the National Park Services’ three-masted tall ship, Friendship, recently returned home to Derby Wharf after being away for eight months of repairs.
With the purchase of Hannah Glover, Mahi Mahi has more than doubled its cruising capacity. The company will continue to do cruises from Salem Willows on the 55-foot Finback, as they have for six years, but will also offer daily cruises on Hannah Glover from Pickering Wharf.
“We’re extremely happy to be here,” said Whitney Peabody, manager at Mahi Mahi. “Salem’s been a great location for us, more than accommodating and supportive of us.”
Finback can hold 47 people, and Hannah Glover can hold 150, she said.
Hannah Glover, which Mahi Mahi purchased from Peter Noyes and the Rockmore Co., has a checkered past. In 2010, Noyes' company pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the federal Rivers and Harbors Act, stemming from discharges of raw sewage from Hannah Glover in 2006.
Since purchasing Hannah Glover, Mahi Mahi has given the boat “a huge makeover,” Peabody said.
They’ve gutted the entire boat, upgraded the mechanical and electrical systems, painted it, and renovated the interior — including the bathrooms and sewage system, she said. The Coast Guard came and inspected the boat before its inaugural cruise on June 21.
“The Hannah Glover has been such a fixture in Salem,” Peabody said. “We wanted to make it our own.”
The Marblehead-based Rockmore Co. used Hannah Glover to shuttle diners to a now-shuttered floating restaurant in Salem Harbor, to do sightseeing cruises and to ferry youngsters out to Children’s Island for YMCA programs.
Mahi Mahi will continue to use the boat to take groups out to Children’s Island, Peabody said. At peak season, Mahi Mahi offers six daily sightseeing cruises, as well as private events and haunted cruises for the Halloween season.
Leah Beth Goodman, owner of Salem’s new stand-up paddling company, echoes Peabody’s sentiments about feeling supported and welcomed in the Witch City.
Stand-up paddling, which has participants stand up on a surfboard with paddles, is popular on the West Coast. Goodman, who has lived in California and Hawaii, started SUP East Coast Style last year in Marblehead with her fiance, Christos Douroudis.
“I caught the SUP bug,” she said.
The company offers lessons, youth programs, birthday parties, rentals, guided tours anywhere on the North Shore and even fitness classes, where you can do yoga on a floating surfboard.
Goodman said they chose to base their company in Salem for their second season because the operation is expanding and needed more room, Goodman said.
“The city of Salem has been overwhelmingly supportive,” she said. “We’re really happy to be part of the community.”
At Derby Wharf, Friendship will be open to the public on a modified schedule and will not do any sailing or private events this year.
Engineers and carpenters will do ongoing repairs and maintenance on Friendship through the summer, according to the National Park Service. Friendship, a replica of an 1797 merchant vessel, left in October 2011 for a shipyard in Fairhaven and returned to Salem on June 9.
Bethany Bray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.