Preparing the Brig Niagara for the winter season isn’t as easy as you think.
It begins by dismantling exterior pieces one by one and preparing her to be shipped to dry dock in Cleveland.
William Sabatini, Executive Director of the Flagship Niagara says, “Our last sail this season was on September 29th. Right after that, we start taking the ship apart. If you look at the ship, there’s not as nearly as many big pieces of wood sticking out of it and sticking in all different directions.”
Once dismantled at the Erie Maritime Museum, the Brig Niagara will make her way up the road to Cleveland by travel lift for further valve and plank inspections.
This comes after a busy sailing season.
“We went to all five Great Lakes and as far as Duluth, Minnesota and sailed all the way back. We had 126 trainees sail with us this summer which is a pretty decent number and to finish it all off with Tall Ships Erie,” Sabatini added.
More than 60 people disassemble the Brig. It starts by taking down exterior pieces, maintaining and putting them into storage.
A week later, crew and volunteers work together to put heavy pieces of canvas on to cover the ship.
Although the Brig Niagara is docked for the winter season, that doesn’t stop crew members from maintaining her beauty.
“We do work on the ship throughout the winter. There’s always some sort of carpentry project that we’re working on. This winter, we will probably be replacing a part of the water way timber which is something we seemingly have to do every year,” Sabatini said.
The Brig looks to be back on the water for a smooth sailing season in the spring.