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Peace Maker docks in Wilmington

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The Peace Maker, a 150-foot sailboat, made it’s way to the docks of downtown Wilmington on Saturday.

“It’s beautiful, so stately looking, I love the sails out,” said Loretta McQuillan of Wilmington.

The 150-foot sailboat will be a part of the Wilmington Riverfront for the next month.

The ship’s captain, Lee Philips, said this is the first time he’s been back in Wilmington since he was a student at UNCW. “Meeting the great people of NC, I loved it here when I lived here, and I’m looking forward to being back.”

Saturday’s sail to Wilmington was the Peace Maker’s maiden voyage. The ship’s crew said the weather made for smooth sailing, but it’s not all calm waters on board noting there is never a dull moment.

The ship will stay docked here at Water and Market streets through Azalea Festival Weekend offering free on-board tours.

For area businesses, it means more foot traffic during a typically slow winter season.

“A lot of the tourist activity downtown, that doesn’t happen til the azalea festival, so it was kind of nice to have this attraction to start bringing people in a little bit earlier,” said Chris Andrew of the Downtown Business Alliance.

The ship’s crew is a non-profit organization that trains young sailors who plan to captain ships of this size.

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Story summary

videoThe Peace Maker made it’s way to the docks of downtown Wilmington on Saturday.

The 150-foot sailboat will be a part of the Wilmington Riverfront for the next month.

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