OpSail Connecticut, Inc.

Welcome to the home of OpSail Connecticut’s Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival. OpSail Connecticut hosts this festival in Port New London annually to celebrate the sea and give visitors the opportunity to interact with those who work on, under, or with the sea. Visit often to see the latest in festivities, unravel the fabric of Connecticut’s maritime history and appreciate how the sea unites our shores.

OpSail Connecticut, Inc. was incorporated in 2012 to further the mission imagined by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. President Kennedy created Operation Sail events nationwide to promote good will and cooperation among countries, celebrate maritime history and provide sail training. These events brought together military and tall ships from many nations, as part of the annual International Naval Review, featuring present-day warships from various navies. Six national OpSail events have been held to date, in 1964, 1976, 1986, 1992, 2000 and 2012. Port New London was honored to take part in the OpSail events held in 2000 and 2012.

OpSail Connecticut, Inc. has continued the tradition of celebrating the sea and its lore by producing the annual Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival in Port New London. Held the second weekend in September, the Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival aims to celebrate Connecticut’s maritime heritage by emphasizing the State’s diverse population and showing the ways the seas have brought people from all over the world to Connecticut. The festival is held annually in Port New London with ships located at the Waterfront Park and Fort Trumbull State Park.

The Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival provides a free family friendly weekend event filled with opportunities to learn about and interact with:

  • military personnel and the vessels that our U.S. military use to protect our shores and its citizens;
  • maritime services including government agencies and vessels that protect our fisheries, natural resources, and environment; and
  • other sectors of the maritime industry ranging from aquaculture and fisheries to other commercial vessels and ventures focused on everything from transportation to energy.

OpSail Connecticut, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization comprised of volunteers with an interest in maritime history. It is organized into an Executive Board and Board of Directors. The Board is further divided into the Events Committee with various ad-hoc work groups that may include subject matter experts who are not on the Board.

2024 Members

Executive Board Position

Melissa M.Root, Ph.D.


David Crocker

Vice President

Christopher Flynn


David Crocker

Interim Treasurer

Christopher Zendan

Ex-Officio Board Member

Board of Directors

Edward Chale

Ex-Officio Board Member

Mayor Keith Hedrick

Ex-Officio Board Member

Mayor Michael Passero

Ex-Officio Board Member

Marla Dekker

Board Member

Christine Fisher

Board Member

Bill Hathaway

Board Member

Katherine Moran

Board Member

Christian Mueller

Board Member

Jeanne Sigel

Board Member

Valerie Tamano

Board Member

Military Liaisons

LT Jonathan Roth – USCG

USCG Sector Long Island Sound

David Santos

USCG Academy

Christopher Zendan

US Submarine Base

Mark Jones

US Submarine Base


Elena Roy


Barbara Neff

Event Manager

Pete Hary

Quinn + Hary Marketing

Thor Torgersen

Web & Graphic Design

The Board and Events meetings generally occur the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 3:00 at the New London Public Library. Interested parties are welcome to observe the meetings. The Executive Board meets as necessary to conduct business.

Contact Us

OpSail Connecticut, Inc.
56 Howard Street
New London, CT  06320
860- 443-3786