The building housing the Maritime Explorium was built in the 1890’s to serve as a chandlery, a store that sold nautical gear, candles, rope, sail repair kits and all of  the other equipment a ship would need for a long voyage.  Today, we offer a hands-on learning environment where families can explore and learn together.

Visit our “Chandlery Nano Spot” to find out about the new equipment and supplies you would find in a modern chandlery, sort the items into new and old, nanotech and not!

At this exhibit, we offer visitors a beach in a boat. Using grains of rice, young visitors compare volumes and solve rate problems; fundamental mathematical skills that apply to many maritime and marine challenges.



Construction challenges await in the Shipyard, an historic room filled with present day building supplies. Visitors design and build suspension bridges, marble mazes, double loop ramps, and other free form dynamic models.

Visit our “Shipyard Nano Spot” to learn how new nanotechnology based products are being used to solve engineering problems.


At this exhibit, visitors explore concepts of mechanical advantage – the idea that certain tools allow us to do jobs that we couldn’t easily do without them. The Ship’s Hull houses multiple types of materials with which visitors investigate structures and forces. This exhibit zone also features a new science focus each week.

This is were we make ice cream, build boats, try to predict volume, build a compass and much more! Each week brings something new and challenging!


This exhibit explores the unique properties of magnets by challenging visitors to view magnetic fields, determine magnetic polarity and how it applies to a compass and to build a magnetically levitated car that can be tested on our track.


Visitors explore the flora and fauna native to Long Island Sound, from Horseshoe crabs to whelks, find out how these animals might save your life and how you can save theirs!  Microscopes and magnifying glasses are available for close ups of our shell and ephemera collections.  

Visit our “Coastline Nano Spot”  for information about nanotechnology in nature.  Watch videos and find out how nature uses nanotechnology to solve problems and how scientists are using nanotechnology to protect the environment.


Here, visitors can chart a course and pilot a virtual ship around Port Jeff Harbor through fair and foul weather. Be careful to avoid the shallows and other traffic! Along the way enjoy the sights and sounds along the shore and learn about the history of Port Jefferson harbor.


What’s the big deal about nanotechnology? It’s all about being really small. Big things are coming from the tiny world of nanotechnology. At the Sail Loft visitors explore how nanotechnology is changing the way we live. Hands-on activities and challenges demonstrate just how important size really is!

Visit our “Sail Loft Nano Spot”  for more information about nanotechnology:  what is nanotechnology, how small is a nanometer and much more!


At the North Pier, visitors of all ages will find an interesting read. Picture books delight our youngest readers while technical manuals on how to sail inspire our oldest readers. Just find a comfy place to relax and dig in!

The North Pier is also the portal to our outdoor observation deck with scenic views of beautiful Port Jefferson Harbor!


At this exhibit visitors will find switches, conductors, insulators, wires and generators. The challenge is to construct a complete electrical circuit and generate enough electricity to power up a light.

Visit our “Lighthouse Nano Spot”  for more information about how nanotechnology has improved energy storage and transmission efficiency.


At this exhibit, visitors experiment with multiple communication systems used at sea:

  • written language and pictograms
  • semaphore flags in different positions,
  • nautical flags with different designs and colors
  • morse code with long and short beeps
  • text message with your cell phone or use our electronic device to send a message to a friend and receive one in return!

Visit our “Signal Center Nano Spot” for information about how nanotechnology aides in communications.


Sailboats can sail in any direction, but the wind makes some directions pretty hard! Here, we discover the many ways that we can tack, or “come about” as we try to sail into the wind or with the wind.