Sloop Scoop 3: Heading North and Starting Demolition
A key trait of a good sailor is adaptability. Out on the river, conditions always change and plans pivot. In early December, the good sloop made the trip north to Scarano Boat Building in Albany. Clearwater was lifted out of the water and placed “on the hard,” in the yard, where the boat will stay for the rest of the winter. Though we will miss the beautiful Rondout, staying at the boatyard offers the best opportunity to complete the necessary repairs.
The trip north took a full day – 46 miles in ten hours. Just as the boat was docking the snow started to fall, a picturesque end to a chilly day. An estimated 75 bald eagles were spotted, a sight that would have seemed impossible even ten years ago. A beautiful reminder of what brought us here.
It didn’t take long to start demolition. An eager crew already have the fo’c’sle and hold gutted, and 75 percent of the mast step taken apart. The regular winter shed made the trip north too and is being assembled for warmth and safety.
Over the years, talented shipwrights have re-built and cared for the Clearwater and we are welcoming back many of them this winter. This time the spotlight is on Biz Goldhammer.
Like many people from the Hudson Valley, Biz grew up with Clearwater, attending Revival and hearing stories about the boat from her parents (who met onboard). Biz has joined the sloop for many maintenance periods and has brought her shipwright and carpentry expertise to Philadelphia’s tall ship Gazela, Delaware’s Kalmar Nyckel, and even Antarctica. From Biz, “One of my favorite things about these winter maintenance periods is getting a closer look at the inner structure of the sloop. These traditionally-built wooden boats get their strength from many timbers all working together. Figuring out how to replace some parts is kind of like solving a giant puzzle!”