(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Lettie G. Howard has been out of service for the past couple of weeks because of an issue with the forward mast.
Now, they are taking a page out of the history books and sailing with one mast and rigging two sails off of it.
For the past couple of weeks, crews have been busy repairing the mast and making sure it’s safe to continue it’s main purpose, to put Erie’s rich maritime history on display and let people take rides on it.
“What we’ve done is, it’s safe. We’ve made sure everything is rigged up appropriately. Today, we’re going to get underway, set the sails, and see how the balance is,” said Captain Billy Sabatini, Flagship Niagara League.
Captain Sabatini said this part of running a working schooner.
“You adapt, you change, and you keep providing the service that the ship is here to provide. So, we’re excited about it. We are happy that we are able to do this and continue taking people out on the boat,” Sabatini said.
Volunteers, like Ginny Sivak, said it’s an honor just being able to work on such an important part of our history.
“It was a surprise that I would be so excited about this, but I am. I retired from teaching and I found this as a way to contribute to the community,” said Ginny Sivak, volunteer.
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If the ship is balanced, they will call in the Coast Guard to inspect it. They hope to be sailing soon and to be ready for Tall Ships Erie 2022.
Captain Sabatini said they hope to be back to providing their regular day sails off of Dobbins Landing by this weekend.