New London — OpSail2012 Connecticut announced Friday that six ships have been added to the list already committed to come to New London in July to participate in the event.
The latest vessels include the schooners Wolf, from Key West, Fla., and Meerwald from Jersey City, N.J. Others are Appledore V from Bay City, Mich., Spirit from Essex, and Brilliant and Argia from Mystic.
“We’re thrilled to be able to announce these additional ships coming to New London this summer,” event chairman John S. Johnson said a statement.
“We’re looking forward to announcing more ships and other fun and exciting events around OpSail2012 Connecticut.”
The U.S. Coast Guard training barque Eagle, “America’s Tall Ship,” will lead the parade of ships into the ports that are hosting Operation Sail events to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” The July 6-9 event in New London is expected to draw thousands to the waterfront.
Other ports in OpSail2012 include New Orleans, Baltimore, Boston and New York.
An OpSail2012 Connecticut spokesman said the organization has raised between $345,000 and $350,000 in cash donations and in-kind donations from the state, which has pledged $1 for every $2 raised by the organization.
The group aims to raise $1 million, with an additional $500,000 coming from the state.
Spokesman Bruce MacDonald said more announcements are expected within the week on additional boats and sponsorships for the event.
In addition to sailing vessels, plans call for the Navy to send four boats from the Yard Patrol Squadron of the U.S. Naval Academy and for one of the Navy’s amphibious ships to dock at State Pier, said Navy Capt. Marc W. Denno, commander of the Naval Submarine Base in Groton. The amphibious ship is expected to be the USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), Denno said, but that could change.
A Portuguese submarine already had planned to be at the sub base in July. Denno said the diesel submarine wouldn’t be open for general tours, but the crew would take part in OpSail events.
The base also will provide volunteers for OpSail and help with security, he added.
Sailfest, the city’s annual summer festival that features food vendors, carnival rides, live music and arts and crafts, will take place the same weekend in July.