BATH — Volunteers from around Maine will help resurrect a piece of Maine nautical history during the fifth annual Women’s Shipbuilding Day on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Women will join members of Maine’s First Ship, a nonprofit organization based in Bath, in working on rebuilding, Virginia, the first ship built by English colonists in 1607 at the mouth of the Kennebec.

Maine’s First Ship’s boatshed is located on the river side of the Bath Freight Shed on Commercial Street, just north of the Route 1 Sagadahoc Bridge. Women’s Shipbuilding Day is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

While the original ship was built entirely by men, those involved with Virginia these days are looking to provide more opportunities for women to build the ship.

“We enjoy this program,” said volunteer coordinator Jeremy Blaiklock. “It’s a great way to build Maine’s First Ship’s volunteer base.”

Volunteer and board member Allison Hepler said that Gail Smith, of Topsham, is one of the group’s best volunteers. Smith, a retired EMT, took part in the first Women’s Shipbuilding Day event and gives time on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year to help build the ship.

Shipbuilding Day will also a brief presentation on the background of Virginia and the colonists who built her. The colony, named Fort St. George, was located on what is now Fort Baldwin in Popham. Operating under the same royal charter as the colony at Jamestown, the Maine settlement lasted only one year, but they built a ship designed for coastal exploration and trade. When the colony folded, Virginia crossed the Atlantic to England, and then made at least one trip to re-supply Jamestown in 1609.

The rest of the day will be spent working on today’s Virginia, a 51’ pinnace. Currently, volunteers are nearly finished planking the ship, preparing for calking and are also beginning to tackle constructing the deck.

Virginia is more than 50 percent complete, and once it is finished and launched, Maine’s First Ship hopes to offer the vessel for educational and environmental programs, as well as for visitors to learn about its history and Maine’s more than 400-year-old tradition of shipbuilding.

“We’re excited about doing this every year,” said shipwright Rob Stevens. “It’s a great day, and we hope all who are interested in what building a boat is like will spend the day with us.”

The vessel’s keel was laid in 2011 on the waterfront at the Bath Freight Shed, and since then, volunteers have continuously worked to build the ship.

Now, with the end of construction in sight, Maine’s First Ship received a sizeable donation toward a new endowment fund. Bob and Diane Weggel have committed $250,000 to the fund — $100,000 this year and $50,000 each year for the next three years.

The fund will not fund the ship’s construction, but rather will help keep the program going after the ship is launched. The group already had $55,000 in the endowment fund, said Dan Wood, one of Maine’s First Ship’s directors, before the Weggel’s donation more than quadrupled it.

Wood said that the group has a goal of increasing the endowment over time to $1 million, which will maintain the program in perpetuity.

According to Hepler, a Maine State House candidate from Woolwich, the group has spent between $200,000 and $250,000 on the ship so far, and expects to put another $100,000 into it before it’s completed.

Organizers hope that the ship will be launched in 2020, though that time frame is dependent on consistent volunteer labor and funding.

“We just got the last tree we needed for our masts and spars, a white pine from Brunswick, and have begun to shape it,” Hepler said.

For more information, call 443-4242 or