Back Story: Restoration of ship has ties to Md.

The 172-year-old whaler Charles W. Morgan, the nation's oldest surviving merchant vessel, will emerge Sunday from an almost five-year, multimillion-dollar restoration effort headed by a former Marylander.

Like a proud papa, Quentin Snediker, shipyard director at historic Mystic Seaport in Connecticut where the work was completed, will no doubt be beaming as the National Historic Landmark is lowered into the Mystic River in a public ceremony on the anniversary of its original launch in New Bedford, Mass., in 1841.

The Charles W. Morgan's career spanned 80 years. It traveled to whaling grounds in the Pacific and Indian oceans on 37 voyages that often lasted more than three...