The South Street Seaport Museum in New I York City has embarked on an unprecedented $10.6 million restoration of its flagship,
the 1885 Cape Horn full-rigged ship Wavertree.
With key allocations from the New York City Council, the Mayor’s Office, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs,
the restoration of Wavertree is a clear indication ofNew York City’s commitment to its maritime history and to the museum at South Street.
The scope of work planned is extensive and includes: the removal and complete replacement of the weather deck in steel, the removal of the South American sand-hopper structure from the lower hold,
the replacement and repair of the entire ‘tweendeck, reballasting with a completely In May,
Wavertree left her pier in Manhattan and took a short journey to a Staten Island shipyard where she will undergo a lifesaving restoration.
removable concrete ballast, replacement of twenty hull plates below the waterline, installation of a cathodic protection system,
complete blasting (using both water and abrasive), and a thorough coating of the entire hull structure. Captain Jonathan Boulware,
Wavertree On the Ways executive director of the South Street Seaport Museum, had this to say:
“We’re thrilled beyond words at the initiation of what is the largest sailing ship preservation project of its type in recent history.
Wavertree was once a plain old square rigger,
like any other you’d have seen at South Street on any day of the week-hull number such-and-such from a yard in Liverpool.
But today she is a rare survivor, one of the last iron-hulled sailing ships left in the world.
Never fitted with propulsion, still riveted from rail to garboard, she is a work of art in iron.
Iron is itself a lifeless thing, but when wrought into plate, shaped,
fitted to other plates, and formed into the hull of a sailing ship, it becomes art.
Countless people have toiled in service of this great lady, this swan of sea and sail,
Wavertree On the Ways and thanks to this project countless more will walk her decks, climb her rigging, and tend her braces.
We undertake this work with reverence for what the ship is and with hope and aspiration for what she can be.
vertree’s restoration is the first step in the revitalization of the South Street Seaport Museum, an institution of New York,
of America, and of all ports that meet the sea.”
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