The U.S. Brig Niagara sees Coastguard regulated dry-docking twice every five years.
This year’s maintenance at the Great Lakes Ship Yard in Cleveland will play a major role in preparing for the ship’s first major rennovation.
With 7.2 million dollars invested, plans are set for the project to begin in 2018.
U.S. Brig Niagara Captain Billy Sabatini says, “The goal of that is we’re going to improve the stability by actually raising the deck about 18-20 inchces and replacing a lot of the wood that’s above the water.”
The project is expected to lay the ship up for two seasons at its completion.
U.S. Brig Niagara Executive Director Shawn Waskiewicz says, “We’re just trying to piece things together and make it to that point in 2018 and I can’t wait for the people in Erie to see it.”
As part of the dry-docking, the six-member crew takes several planks apart to survey the condition of the ship’s internal framing.
Ship carpenter Adam Stanisz says, “Give it any kind of treatments that it might need, various types of primers and whatever kind of poxies we can put on to keep encapsulating them.”
Waskiewicz says a lot of the funding for this year’s maintenance dry-docking for the vessel comes from the success of tall-ships Erie.
Waskiewicz says, “For every three years we have a tall-ships event. All of that money is earmarked towards the the ship to keep Niagara sailing. We never know what we’re going to find, so tall-ships is a really big hit for us. We had a really great year.”