The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to announce the purchase the 100% solar powered 44 foot tour boat the Solar Sal. Built by the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s restoration crew under the direction of Jim Kricker, this vessel is the only solar powered boat in operation on the Hudson River and does not require fossil fuels to operate.
Designed by marine architect Dave Gerr from a concept developed by David Borton, owner of Sustainable Energy, the Solar Sal is commercial in design, meeting all U.S. Coast Guard regulations for commercial passenger-carrying vessels. In late 2018, the vessel passed her speed/range endurance test under the watchful eye of Coast Guard inspectors, using only reserve battery power. The Solar Sal can travel up to fifty miles at night without the use of her solar panels. Even on cloudy days, the solar panels are so efficient that they continue to power the batteries.
The Solar Sal can accommodate up to 25 passengers and will allow the Hudson River Maritime Museum to expand water-based tour offerings in 2019, including lighthouse tours, school field trips, and charters. Full program schedule and ticketing information will be announced in February. Those interested in scheduling a school field trip or other private tours can contact us at 845-338-0071 ext. 16.
Support for this vessel comes from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Scenic Hudson, and Sustainable Energy Corp. The Hudson River Maritime Museum will be launching a community-based campaign to name the vessel in March. If you have questions, or wish to support this unique vessel and its programming, please contact Executive Director Lisa Cline at 845-338-0071 ext. 20.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is proud to announce it has been awarded $430,000 from the State of New York to improve visitor experiences and access to the museum’s campus.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will provide funding through an Environmental Protection Grant. These competitive matching grants provide funding for the development of heritage areas in the state of New York. The Hudson River Maritime Museum will use these funds to improve visitor experience by making walkway improvements, improving energy efficiency, adding solar capacity, improving the museum façade, grounds, and streetscape, and integrating connections to the Kingston Greenway and the Empire State Trail.
Robert L. Burhans, President of the HRMM Board of Trustees said, “This has been a
great year for the museum, we received our Permanent Museum Charter from the New
York State Board of Regents, our Youthboat and Sailing schools are maturing and are
recognized for their great educational experiences. This was our 40th year of service, preservation, and cultural enrichment, and we are excited to begin another forty!”
“The Hudson River Maritime Museum is both a key part of the Rondout and an unrivaled resource for all Hudson River communities. This grant will assure their continued presence in the Rondout and give them the tools needed to develop robust climate change hardening while establishing a 21st century presence. This award is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of both staff and volunteers,” says New York State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.
“Through the Office of Economic Development, my administration has made it a priority to maximize the funding that local projects receive from state and federal grants. We do that by assisting with project formulation, connecting applicants with grant-writing expertise and advocating for Ulster County projects, but the lion’s share of the effort falls on each applicant. A hearty congratulation to the Hudson River Maritime Museum, which has received a significant funding commitment to advance their work along the Rondout Creek in Kingston. The Rondout Riverport Phase 2 Project will help ensure a vital future for the Museum and the entire Kingston waterfront district in the face of challenges from climate change and sea level rise,” says Ulster County Executive Michael Hein.
“I whole-heartedly congratulate the Hudson River Maritime Museum on their CFA Award, which will assist in our shared vision to preserve Kingston’s important history, to be a responsible and sustainable community, to give access to all community members, and to grow in smart ways. I look forward to seeing all the improvements for the Museum’s continued success,” says City of Kingston Mayor, Steve Noble.
Please contact Ellie Burhans, Development & Communications Manager, at email@example.com for any questions.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is proud to announce it has been granted an Absolute Charter by the New York State Board of Regents. The museum was awarded this charter at the Board of Regents’ October meeting in Albany, New York.
New York State requires all museums, historical societies, libraries, schools, colleges, universities, and other organizations to be chartered with the state’s Board of Regents to ensure high standards of educational programming, historic research, and compliance with state and federal law. An Absolute Charter is issued when the organization is both educationally sound and financially stable.
“We are proud to receive this recognition from the New York State Board of Regents,” says Lisa Cline, Executive Director. “It’s confirmation that we are providing innovative educational programming and have the support of the Hudson River Community. It shows that the Hudson River Maritime Museum has staying power. This is a great way to celebrate our upcoming 40th anniversary!”
Please contact Ellie Burhans, Development & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to announce Jon Bowermaster will be honored with the prestigious Roger W. Mabie award at the 2018 Pilot Gala held on Sunday, September 23 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hudson River Maritime Museum.
Writer, filmmaker and adventurer, Jon is a six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council. One of the Society’s ‘Ocean Heroes,’ his first assignment for National Geographic Magazine was documenting a 3,741 mile crossing of Antarctica by dogsled. Jon has written a dozen books and produced/directed more than fifteen documentary films. Oceans 8 Films and the One Ocean Media Foundation originated in the Hudson Valley and the river and its beauty have been a backdrop of and inspiration to much of Jon’s work over the years. It is an environment to both be celebrated, and protected. Both films River at Risk and Hope on the Hudson were created to draw attention to some of the ongoing environmental concerns, including bomb trains loaded with crude oil coursing along its banks, the continued pollution by PCBs going back to the 1940s, the serious debate over the future of the nuclear power plant at Indian Point as well as the people who are working to preserve the River’s rich ecology and history.
“We are thrilled to honor Jon Bowermaster at our Pilot Gala,” says Lisa Cline, Executive Director of the Hudson River Maritime Museum. “We are all so fortunate that Jon, an internationally known documentarian, has focused his lens on our corner of the world, bringing attention to this region’s beauty, the risks we face and the work that is being done to preserve our Hudson River Valley.”
The Roger W. Mabie Award, named after founding father and former president Roger Mabie, was created to honor annually individuals who exemplify service to the Hudson Valley and its history.
To attend this fundraiser for the Hudson River Maritime Museum and to honor the important work of Jon Bowermaster, please RSVP at www.hrmm.org/pilot-gala.
For more information, contact Development & Communications Manager Ellie Burhans at email@example.com.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is grateful for support from the Hudson Valley Greenway’s Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area program. HRMM has received a Heritage Development Grant of $5,400 from the program to support the revival of the Hudson River Lighthouse Coalition - a partnership between HRMM and the organizations that operate the seven remaining lighthouses on the Hudson River.
The grant covers the development of a joint website for all the Hudson River lighthouses, a promotional rack card, and an online exhibit about the lost or “ghost” lighthouses of the Hudson River. Preliminary information, including basic history, images, and tourism information for all seven lighthouses plus the Statue of Liberty will be available at www.hudsonriverlighthouses.org by the end of June, 2018. Online exhibit will be available to the public by October, 2018.
In addition, HRMM has received sponsorship from the HRVNHA for the Conference on Black History in the Hudson Valley, July 14, 2018. The $1,000 sponsorship goes to offset costs and keep registration costs affordable for the general public.
Please join us in thanking the Hudson Valley Greenway and the Hudson River National Heritage Area program for their generous support.
We’re Featured on the NEW Hudson River Train Tour App!
Passengers on board Metro-North and Amtrak trains from New York City to Albany can now learn more about The Hudson River Maritime Museum on their smartphones using the new Hudson River Train Tour App, developed by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, in partnership with the National Park Service.
The app gives rail travelers several tools to enhance their excursions through the Hudson Valley, including real-time mapping services, audio guides, and information on hundreds of parks, trails, historic sites, cultural destinations, and historic downtowns.
Travelers can click on “themes” such as: What’s Out the Window, which showcases sites seen from the train; Freedom & Dignity, highlighting the American Revolution, Underground Railroad, FDR and other major historical eras; Nature & Culture, focused on natural landscapes, artists, writers and architects; Corridor of Commerce, featuring early settlement and economic development; and the Voices of the Hudson, which contains historic audio stories.
The free mobile app is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play, or via Hudsonrivervalley.com/app. #HudsonRiverTrainTour
The Hudson River Maritime Museum opened its new 2018 exhibit, “The Hudson River and Its Canals: Building the Empire State” on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This new temporary exhibit celebrates the bicentennial of a decade of canal construction that created bold new transportation corridors connecting the Hudson River and New York State to Canada and Vermont, the Great Lakes and Midwest, and the coal fields of Pennsylvania. Featured canals include the Champlain (1823), Erie (1825), and Delaware & Hudson (1828) and the exhibit will also include information on later feeder canals and canal expansions.
This system of interconnected waterways led to rapid growth in New York State, created new markets, led to the rise of new cities, and made New York City one of the world’s largest ports. The canals interpreted in the exhibit fulfilled the promise of the motto “Empire State” and established New York as a leader in engineering, communications, capital, and international trade. The exhibit illustrates that the geography of New York State and the Hudson and Mohawk valleys uniquely positioned it to provide transportation corridors through the barriers of the Appalachian mountain chain and demonstrates that transportation by water was much cheaper and more efficient than overland travel.
Visitors will have the opportunity to hear the voice of a woman who grew up driving a mule along the Delaware & Hudson canal from the interior of a canal boat cabin. Children can operate small canal boats through a scale model canal with mechanical locks and an aqueduct. A large three-dimensional topographical map showcases how the geography of the state influenced canal routes. Photos show the faces of the people and animals who operated on the canals, including children who grew up in canal boats and shared the work, and videos illustrate the construction and operation of the canals throughout history.
Funding for this exhibit was generously provided by a grant from Humanities NY and ArtsMidHudson. “The Hudson River and Its Canals: Building the Empire State” will be open from April 21, 2018 until December, 2019.
Below are some photos from our opening reception:
The City of Kingston and the Hudson River Maritime Museum invites residents, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and business owners from the Rondout in Kingston, NY and surrounding communities to attend the inaugural meeting regarding the formation of the Riverport Community Coalition.
This coalition seeks to enhance and revitalize the historic Rondout waterfront by opportunities and working through collaborative partnerships to maintain a vibrant and sustainable neighborhood and business district within the City of Kingston.
Interested parties should attend an inaugural meeting held on Thursday, April 12 at 8:00 A.M in the Riverport Wooden Boat School classroom at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, 86 Rondout Landing, Kingston, NY. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
This event is free and open to the public, however, seating is limited and registration is strongly encouraged. To RSVP, please search Eventbrite.com for “Hudson River Maritime Museum” or visit the registration site.
Please contact Lisa Cline, Executive Director for the Hudson River Maritime Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connecting History Lovers to Historic Texts
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to announce a new and exciting collection to its Museum Store offerings. Academics, amateur historians and history lovers are invited to shop the museum’s new rare and used book selection.
Previously donated books handpicked by the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s Collections Department are now available for sale. These books cover important Hudson River history including steamboats, lighthouses, tugboats, and maritime and local history. Each purchase made in the Museum Store helps the museum to preserve and interpret the history of the Hudson River, its tributaries and its related industries.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum’s rare and used book sale includes out of print editions of popular titles, hard to find historical texts, and primary source material. All books included in the sale are duplicates from the museum’s archives and collections.
“We are so excited that the public can browse these fascinating books,” says Executive Director Lisa Cline. “What better way to connect to the history of the river than with these books written by famous local and regional historians and authors.”
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is now accepting book donations. Hudson River history books will be considered for inclusion in the museum’s research library. General maritime histories and triplicates will be included in the book sale. All proceeds benefit the museum. To donate a book, please contact Collections Manager and Digital Archivist Carla Lesh at email@example.com. For more information about the book sale, please contact Membership and Museum Store Manager Joclyn Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seems far from memory now, but the Rondout waterfront of Kingston, New York was once a working waterfront. What are now walking paths, parks and cultural centers were once shipyards, commercial docks and shipping piers. Situated on a tributary to the Hudson River, the Rondout Creek provides a natural port due to its deep water and sheltered location nearly midway between Albany, the state capital, and New York City. It was home to a once booming shipbuilding industry that seemed to vanish by the mid-twentieth century.
Although the shipbuilding industries on the Hudson declined, the wooden boats remained. The gaff-rigged racing sloop Eleanor, one of the last of her kind, survives from 1903. Built at the B.F. Wood shipyard at City Island, Bronx, Eleanor was designed by Clinton H. Crane, designer of the schooner Endymion (1900), which set the record for the Atlantic crossing in 13 days, 8 hours - a record beaten in 1905 by Atlantic. She was saved by Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing, Inc., an all-volunteer organization in Hudson, NY working to restore Eleanor to her former glory.
Eleanor is not the only wooden boat in need of restoration these days. In 2016, the Hudson River Maritime Museum opened the Riverport Wooden Boat School and with it Riverport Wooden Boat Restoration. Since 2016, RWBR has completed restorations of the Clearwater, Woody Guthrie, Commander, Tid Bit, and are completing a scratch build of the 100% solar-powered Solar Sal. These restorations were open to the public, and along with woodworking and boat building classes for youth and adults, the Hudson River Maritime Museum has transformed the Rondout into a working waterfront once again.
To celebrate the success of the Riverport Wooden Boat School and the resurgence of interest in the ships of the River and their restoration, the Hudson River Maritime Museum is proud to present “Keeping History Afloat on the Hudson,” a unique peer-to-peer symposium on the technical aspects of boat restorations in the Hudson Valley, on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Kingston Home Port & Education Center (affectionately known as “the Barn”).
“Keeping History Afloat” is designed for professional and avocational shipwrights and restorers as well as wooden boat enthusiasts; this symposium will feature presentations from a variety of shipwrights, restoration specialists, and visionaries on the future of boats on the Hudson River. The focus of these presentations will cover the technical details of the restoration and construction work for each vessel as well as the successes and challenges of each project. “Keeping History Afloat” will feature the stories restorations and builds of at least six Hudson River vessels, all of whom kept tradition of wooden boats and shipbuilding alive on the river.
The Rondout’s long history of wooden boatbuilding makes it the perfect location for this unique event. Starting with the opening of the Delaware & Hudson Canal in 1828, Rondout became a center of wooden barge building to serve both the canal and make the larger barges needed to tow goods by steamboat down to New York City. During the major martial conflicts of the early 20th century, shipbuilders of the Rondout assisted the American war effort by building freighters, tugs, submarine chasers, lighters, and barges. To combat the use of magnetic mines, Rondout shipbuilders provided the United States with wooden boats to clear minefields. During the post-war period, however, the old industries left the region and the use of trains, trucks, and planes to transport people and goods became more cost effective.
Today, the spirit of wooden boatbuilding lives on in the original and replica vessels that continue to ply the Hudson River. The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a replica of the original Hudson River sloops that sailed up and down the river in the 18th and 19th centuries, was launched in 1969 and is nearing her 50th birthday. Designed for the variable winds and currents of the Hudson River, Clearwater and her crew continue the legacy of founder Pete Seeger who built the boat to save the river. She became America’s Environmental Flagship and was among the first vessels in the United States to conduct science-based environmental education aboard a sailing ship, creating the template for environmental education programs around the world. More than half a million people have experienced their first real look at the Hudson River estuary’s ecosystem aboard Clearwater. Added to the National Register of Historic Places with special dispensation for historic significance at just 35 years old (rather than the normal 50 year designation), Clearwater has undergone several stages of restoration in the last ten years, completing the last leg of work on the midships’ hull in 2016.
Riverport Wooden Boat School Director and experienced shipwright and millwright Jim Kricker will discuss the most recent major restoration of the 1969 Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Kricker will focus on the Clearwater’s hull restoration, including the replacement of roughly 50 frames on each side with approximately 250 futtocks, around 2,000 lineal feet of planking, the stem knee, horn timber, stern post, rudder post, some sections of deadwood, the engine beds, keel bolts, and the complete replacement of the centerboard trunk, including a section of the keelson. The first ship to be restored at the Riverport Wooden Boat School, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater marked the return of wooden boat building to the Rondout waterfront.
The second major restoration project done on the historic Rondout Creek was for the Beacon Sloop Club’s 1978 Hudson River Ferry Sloop Woody Guthrie. Beacon Sloop Club sailors and restoration volunteers Alan Thomas and James Malchow will discuss the major overhaul of the ship by Riverport Wooden Boat Restorations. This project was unique as it offered volunteers from the Beacon Sloop Club and the museum to work alongside professional shipwrights, reducing labor costs for the all-volunteer club and allowing for a full schedule of restoration work.
Louise Bliss, President of the nonprofit Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing, Inc. will discuss the ongoing restoration of the historic 1903 raceabout sailing sloop Eleanor. In her presentation, Bliss will discuss the restoration of Eleanor’s spars and the work of HRHBRS volunteers thus far.
Richard Scarano, Vice President of Scarano Boat Building, will discuss the history of Scarano’s restoration services and highlight some of their most recent restoration projects. Founded in 1974, Scarano Boat Building designs and builds period wood, aluminum, composite, and steel boats, Coast Guard certified for public transportation and excursions. Richard Scarano joined his brother in 1986, when Scarano Boat Building incorporated. They are known for the historic replicas of canal and sailboats. Past projects have included the America, a full-scale replica of the famed 19th century racing schooner, Santa Maria, a replica of Columbus’ 15th century carvel, and Friendship of Salem, a replica of a 171-foot three-masted Salem East Indiaman originally built in 1797.
Historic and replica ships play a crucial role in keeping history afloat - and alive - on the Hudson River, but new uses for old boats and new types of boats are also being prototyped and tested on the Rondout waterfront. For two of our presenters, boats represent not the past, but the future of transportation.
Sam Merrett is a marine diesel mechanic, US Coast Guard licensed captain, and alternative fuel business owner. For him, the future of boats on the Hudson includes the revitalization of sail freight. At “Keeping History Afloat,” Merrett will discuss the restoration of the steel-hulled 1945 schooner Apollonia and her conversion to sail freight. Relying on her sails, Apollonia will also use alternative fuel made from recycled cooking oil in her 1953 diesel engine as she plies the Hudson moving freight from place to place. Merrett’s goal is to make Apollonia a reproducible model for sail freight.
For one man, the future of transportation lies not with the wind, but with the sun. PhD physicist and sustainable energy expert David Borton will present the scratch build of the Solar Sal, a 100% solar-powered motor vessel designed to be a US Coast Guard inspected commercial passenger boat. Borton’s design was brought to life by the shipwrights of Riverport Wooden Boat Restorations. At 44 feet long, Solar Sal brings solar energy, electricity, and marine propulsion together to help revolutionize river transportation.
“Keeping History Afloat on the Hudson River” is a day-long event based around 30-40 minute presentations with audience Q&A and will feature a round table discussion- the first of many regional meetings bringing together the diverse interests of members of this community together to discuss not just boat building and restoration, but the logistics of moving freight and passengers in a “post carbon” world when wind and solar power will keep communities connected, provide training and jobs in forest management, solar electric propulsion, woodworking, seafaring, sail making, rigging, and longshore logistics.
This symposium is open to the public. Tickets are $45 for HRMM members and $50 for non-members. Ticket price includes catered lunch. Registration, schedule, and more available at www.hrmm.org/keeping-history-afloat.html.
Today the Rondout Waterfront connects the city of Kingston not only to the River, but to its past. Skilled shipwrights and volunteers train the next generation of wooden boat builders so that these beautiful sailing vessels continue to sail the Hudson River, keeping the romance of sail travel alive. Through woodworking classes, sailing workshops, rowing workshops, lectures, and exhibits, the Hudson River Maritime Museum preserves the tradition of its community and inspires a respect for the river that connects us all.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.