Nation's oldest coal-fired steamboat returns to Mystic River

A more than century-old coal-fired steamboat has returned to Mystic River after a more than two-year restoration project.

The Sabino is billed by the Mystic Seaport maritime museum as the nation's oldest coal-fired steamboat in regular operation. It resumed public cruises Wednesday from the maritime museum.

The $1.1 million project included extensive woodwork and the fabrication and installation of a new boiler to meet modern safety requirements.

The work was done at the Seaport's preservation shipyard, which also has been responsible for projects such as the building of the replica slave schooner Amistad. The restoration of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan and the current restoration of the Mayflower II was also done there.

The Sabino was built in 1908 and spent much of its career ferrying passengers and cargo between the mainland in Maine and offshore islands.