BEACON – After an eight month US Coast Guard mandated restoration of Clearwater’s hull, the iconic sloop has returned to the Hudson River. Clearwater ‘splashed’ on Thursday afternoon at a boatyard in Albany, NY. The sloop arrived to Albany after a six hour transit from the Kingston Home Port on top of a barge. Shortly after arriving, the sloop was lowered into the river with a crane. The boat will remain in the water cradled by straps for up to one week, allowing the new oak planks to swell.
Once the sloop is buoyant, the systems will go online and the ship will transit back to Kingston under her own power. At the Kingston Home Port, the crew will up-rig the lines and sails, as well as reinstall the galley, Captain’s cabin, and the hold (including the head), readying the sloop for Clearwater’s first sails in July. “There’s still work to be done on the interior of the vessel and on the rigging, but we are all very excited that the Clearwater will be sailing on the Hudson this summer and fall” said Dave Conover, Interim Executive Director at Clearwater.
Clearwater will host a public dock-side re-launch ceremony on July 4th at Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie from 5:30 PM- 6:30 PM. There will be a ceremonial ‘christening’ of the sloop withrefreshments, live music, children’s activities and more. The July 4th evening sail will depart the dock at 7:00 PM. Tickets and the summer sail schedule are available at www.clearwater.org.
The hull restoration cost Clearwater approximately $850,000.00. The organization has $103,000.00 left to raise, to meet its funding goal. Part of the hull planks that were replaced this winter were made of original wood dating back to 1969, when the sloop was launched by Pete Seeger and friends.
During the sailing season Clearwater serves the Hudson River with unique education programs where the focus is experiential. Students come aboard and learn about Hudson River ecology, history and navigation.