KINGSTON, NY – The Hudson River Maritime Museum is proud to present a film screening and panel discussion of Jon Bowermaster’s new film, “Hope on the Hudson,” on Saturday, September 9 at 4:00 PM in the Kingston Home Port and Education Center.
Jon Bowermaster is the filmmaker behind “Hudson: A River at Risk,” which was screened at the museum last year. “Hope on the Hudson” is in actuality Part III of the “River at Risk” series. While the “River at Risk” series covered the threats to the Hudson River, including crude oil transport, the nuclear power plant at Indian Point, and the construction of the new Tappan Zee bridge, “Hope on the Hudson” focuses on the efforts of organizations and individuals to preserve and restore the Hudson River both environmentally and socially.
After the film, Bowermaster will lead a panel discussion with some of the films’ participants. For those who missed the screening of “Hudson: A River at Risk” last year, the films will be shown again starting at 2:00 PM.
A writer, filmmaker and adventurer, Bowermaster 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 in 1989 was to document a dog-sled expedition that crossed Antarctica taking 221 days. His Oceans 8 project took him and his teams around the world by sea kayak over the course of ten years (1999-2008), where they bought back stories from the Aleutian Islands, French Polynesia, Gabon, Tasmania, and beyond about how the planet’s one ocean and its various coastlines are faring today. He is the chairman of the board of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and a board member of Celine Cousteau’s CauseCentric Productions.
KINGSTON, NY – The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to host the Canadian brigantine St. Lawrence from Thursday, September 7 through Sunday, September 10, 2017.
Built in 1953 in Kingston, Ontario specifically to teach traditional sailing to youths from around the Canadian Maritimes and New England, the Sail Training Vessel (STV) St. Lawrence is 60 feet in length (72’ with the bowsprit), has a steel hull, and can accommodate 25 crew. She offers week-long summer sailing programs for youths aged 13-18 out of her home port of Kingston, Ontario. Students on these immersive sailing weeks hone their teamwork and sailing skills away from technology and distractions. Programs emphasize personal development, teamwork, and the discipline needed to run a tall ship on the open ocean.
St. Lawrence is visiting the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, New York to down-rig her mast in preparation for traveling through the Erie and Oswego Canals. Her New York journey will end in Oswego, NY on Lake Ontario where she will re-rig to continue sailing. She will also be doing programs with the H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego at that time.
St. Lawrence will be available for deck tours on Thursday, September 7 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Deck tours are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Crew will also be available throughout their stay to talk about the St. Lawrence, its educational programs, and the process of de-rigging. For safety reasons, visitors will not be allowed on deck after Thursday morning.
St. Lawrence will be arriving late Wednesday evening and departing early Monday morning.
On the rugged shores of the British Isles and the fjords of Norway, small, double-ended wooden boats have long plied the cold waters of the North Atlantic, rowed or sailed by their fishermen owners. Built of lapstrake hardwoods, they are reminiscent of old Viking boats. In the North Atlantic, the small rocky islands and reefs that line the coastlines are called “skerries,” after the Old Norse word “sker.” Often rowed and sailed in and around skerries, these plucky little work boats are rugged enough for the rocky shores.
This fall, the Hudson River Maritime Museum will offer a class to build the modern descendant of those historic British and Scandinavian working boats. Called a “Skerry” after those rocky islands, this version is tough and lightweight, easy to sail or row. Riverport Wooden Boat School Senior Instructor Michael Puryear notes, “This class is an opportunity to learn how to build boats using modern stitch-and-glue technology, which produces a lighter and stronger wooden boat.”
Stitch-and-glue uses lightweight marine grade okume plywood to stich the flexible planks together in an overlapping style called lapstrake. The stitching and glue give the boat shape and strength without the use of heavy wooden ribs, as in traditional boatbuilding. The bottom of the boat is also sheathed in fiberglass for tough resistance to rocky shorelines or hard landings.
The resulting boat is lightweight and easy to pull up on a beach at the end of the day and make camp. At 15 feet long with either a four-sided spritsail or a triangular gunter rig sail, the Skerry can be rowed while under sail, an uncommon feature for small boats. The mast can also be stepped down if you prefer to just row. At around 100 pounds, the Skerry can be car-topped with two adults, or is incredibly easy to pull in and out of the water on a small trailer.
Unlike previous boatbuilding classes at RWBS, this Skerry build is a group build – with a group of students working together to build a single boat. This boat will also be built from scratch using only plans, not kits, giving students the full range of woodworking skills as they build the boat from start to finish. Students can enter a lottery to “win” the final product.
“Students will gain confidence, manual skills, and build friendships through teamwork,” Puryear says of the group style of class. The “Group Boatbuild: Nordic Skerry” class takes place every Thursday and Friday, 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, from Thursday, September 21 until Friday, November 3, with Saturday, November 4 as a final class for any finishing necessary, as well as to celebrate the completion of the boat and draw lots.
This class is also more affordable than the individual kit classes, at just $495 for HRMM members at the Household level and above, and $540 for non-members. “Many of our members and visitors were unable to commit to the week-long kit builds, both because of price and time commitment, so we wanted to offer an alternative and the Skerry is the perfect boat to start with,” says HRMM Director of Education Sarah Wassberg.
For many people, building a sailboat is a dream come true. “It was always my dream growing up,” says Puryear. To build a boat and then sail off into the sunset is now an affordable reality for Hudson Valley residents, provided you’ve got luck on your side.
The class is limited to 10 people, and spots are sure to fill up fast. Interested students can register online at www.hrmm.org/classes--workshops.html or by calling 845-338-0071 ext. 16.
El Galeón Seeks Volunteer Sailors
Museum Expands Hours and Lighthouse Tours During El Galeón Visit
KINGSTON, NY – The replica Spanish galleon El Galeón is seeking five intrepid volunteer sailors to accompany them on their voyage from Kingston, NY to Ocean City, MD. Volunteer crew members will eat, sleep, and work on the ship for several days as she travels south along the Atlantic seaboard. Volunteers will learn to sail the ship as they go. All prospective volunteers must be in good physical condition and over the age of 18. Interest parties may contact El Galeón Project Manager Fernando Viota at Fernando@fundacionnaovictoria.org.
In addition, the crew is seeking volunteers to sail across the Atlantic with El Galeón on her voyage home from Ocean City, MD to Spain. The voyage will last approximately one month, with tentative dates of August 28 to September 28, 2017. Interested parties can contact Ulises Custido at Ulises@fundacionnaovictoria.org or call 904-826-7327 or fill out a request for information form at: www.fundacionnaovictoria.org/cross-atlantic-ocean-board-el-galeon/.
Finally, during El Galeón’s stay at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, the museum will be open extended hours on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Also that weekend, HRMM will offer more frequent lighthouse tours, with tours every half hour beginning at noon with the last tour leaving at 5:00 PM. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children (5-12). Children under 5 are free but each child must be accompanied by an adult.
Lighthouse tours are on weekends only. Monday, August 7 and Tuesday, August 8 the museum will return to its regular schedule, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum page of the Hudson River Valley Heritage website now includes a section on tugboats. Tugboats- The Workhorses of the Hudson - The Hudson River was the great natural highway into the interior of New York State for centuries. Transportation for people and goods was by boat for over two hundred years after the arrival of European, mostly Dutch, settlers in the early 17th century.
Because of the growth of New York City into a major port and population center as immigrants poured into the city in the 19th century, the need there for food and building materials soared. The Hudson Valley produced many of the products needed, and shipped them by sailing vessels called sloops and schooners for at least two hundred years from the beginning of settlement in the 1600s. Steamboats came on the scene gradually after 1807 carrying mostly passengers for many decades. Eventually steam towboats pulling multiple barges and canal boats took over the freight traffic on the Hudson. Though not speedy, these long tows were the cheapest way to ship bulk cargoes. Older passenger steamboats such as the Norwich were used at first as towboats. Sidewheel steamboats such as the Oswego were built as towboats starting around 1850. Propeller driven tugboats in the familiar shape that we know today began to be seen in the 1860s.
Rondout, the port of Kingston, was a major shipping point, and the busiest port on the Hudson for most of the 19th century (1800s). The major product shipped from Rondout was coal brought here from eastern Pennsylvania over the Delaware & Hudson Canal from 1828 to 1898. Coal was the main fuel of the steam age of the 19th century, so Rondout boomed from coal transport. Local products also shipped from Rondout during the same time were Ulster County bluestone shipped widely for use as sidewalks; Rosendale cement, a sturdy natural cement used in building New York City; and bricks from local brickyards also used to build New York City. Ice cut from the Hudson River was shipped to New York City on barges to be used for food preservation. Food products were also shipped, including grain from the Midwest brought to the Hudson over the Erie Canal, and hay for the many horses in the City.
The Cornell Steamboat Company of Rondout became the largest towing company on the Hudson by the 1880s because of the enormous amount of freight to be transported to New York City from the Hudson Valley, especially from Rondout. Towboats and tugs pulling long strings of barges could be seen day and night on the Hudson from the 1850s through the 1930s. The Cornell Steamboat Company had a virtual monopoly on towing on the river from the 1880s through the 1930s. The company had a fleet of up to sixty tugboats of all sizes at one time. There is much less tug and barge activity on the Hudson today than there was even in the 1950s as freight was being shipped by rail and later truck, and the old cargoes like bluestone, ice, and cement had mostly disappeared from the scene. Today the main cargoes shipped by tug and barge are oil, crushed rock, and some cement.
Visit the website regularly to see new additions from the HRMM collection: www.hrvh.org/hrmmkingston
Friday, July 14, 2017, the Hudson River Maritime Museum lost an important volunteer and friend. Ralph Allen died at 88 from complications from cancer.
Ralph started volunteering at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in the mid-1990s. He was on the museum board for at least one year, but where he really left his mark was in the building and growing of the museum over the past twenty years as a hands-on volunteer.
Ralph was a dairy farmer. He was not afraid of hard work, and because of the nature of that profession, he was proficient in carpentry, welding, and electrical work, not to mention the thousands of small things necessary to keep the farm going. When he retired from farming, he brought these skills to the museum. Nearly every structure on the museum campus, including the docks and bulkhead, reflects his thought and work, be it building, installing, fixing, moving or electrifying. But what impressed us most were his problem-solving abilities. When someone was confronted with a difficult task, and was about to make an ill-advised decision, Ralph would calmly say, “Well… you could try it that way, but that is not how I would do it” and proceed to find an excellent solution, safely getting the job done without bruising any egos.
Ralph was a quiet man with a wry sense of humor. He didn’t have much patience for the spotlight. In fact, he’d probably think a public article like this one, all about him, was a waste of time. But it isn’t.
Ralph continued to work at the museum well into the last month of his life. His final project was a dust collector for the Riverport Wooden Boat School which, as usual, works to perfection. When someone like Ralph dies, we are reminded just how lucky we were to have spent time with him and learn from him. His legacy will live on at the museum, from the darkest nooks and crannies of the museum to the best floating docks on the Rondout. Next time you’re at the museum and you appreciate something built or working well, take some time to thank Ralph, because he probably had a hand in it. We say thank you all the time.
Thanks Ralph, for everything.
The Board, staff, and volunteers of the HRMM
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is seeking volunteer docents at the Rondout Lighthouse. Qualified applicants will spend a weekend afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. enjoying the river views while teaching visitors about the Rondout Lighthouse and its keepers. Training is provided.The lighthouse is accessible only by ferry, which operates from the museum’s dock. Tour groups are small, with a maximum of six visitors per trip. Tours last about 30 minutes.
Applicants should be able to handle boarding the ferry and climbing the stairs at the lighthouse, be able to read and retain detailed information, and be comfortable speaking to the public. For a volunteer application, visit www.hrmm.org/volunteer or email Director of Education Sarah Wassberg at email@example.com, or call (845) 338-0071, ext. 16. The museum also has other tour guide opportunities as well.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is excited to announce that Emily Chichon, of our Riverport Wooden Boat School, is featured in an article in the July issue of Chronogram! Emily is an original member of HRMM's team of shipwrights and a competitor in the Hudson River National Boat Building Challenge on Hudson River Day.
Emily has extensive boatbuilding experience, having worked on some very impressive and iconic vessels: the Hudson River sloop Clearwater, the Beacon Sloop Club’s beloved Woody Guthrie and the Commander, the oldest surviving wooden boat to have served in World War I as a balloon-spotter.
The July issue of Chronogram is on newsstands now, or you can read the article online.
This just in: The Hudson River Maritime Museum has received word that the 2009 replica ship El Galeon Andalucia will be docking at the Museum and will be open to the public for deck tours Saturday, August 5th through Tuesday, August 8th. Deck tours will be available for adults ($10), children aged 5-11 ($5), and free for children under the age of 5. She is also available to stage special dinner events or corporate presentations which can be coordinated through the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Details coming soon!
The Galeon Andalucia is a replica ship built in 2009 modeled after the type of vessel used by the Spanish Crown for maritime expeditions during the 16th through the 18th centuries. Galleons were intended to discover and then establish trade routes between Spain, America and the Philippines islands. These merchant vessels were armed with tonnages ranging from 500 to 1,200 and lengths ranging from 130 to 200 feet. Considered innovative for their time, they were designed to cross the largest oceans as efficiently as possible.
Researchers required three years to compile all the necessary information about galleons' shapes, details, and measures so that a replica could be built. The historical research done in maritime archives in Spain was followed by structural design, which took six months. Construction of the vessel lasted over seventeen months and employed 150 people until her launching in Punta Umbria (Huelva, Spain) in November of 2009. The replica was designed and built by Ignacio Fernandez Vial, a navel engineer and historian, commissioned by the ship's owner, Nao Victoria Foundation.
During construction the hull and decks were built up in layers of fiberglass and after that the whole structure was lined with wood. This completely original and innovative technique was the first time this method was applied to any ship heavier than 500 tons meant for sailing.
Since her launching, a crew of fifteen to thirty-five people have manned her across the seas and oceans of the world. She has navigated the Pacific and Indian Oceans, crossed the Atlantic, and traveled the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the South and East China Seas, the Aegean Sea and the Caribbean.
Some facts about the El Galeon Andalucia:
On Saturday, June 24th, the Hudson River Maritime Museum hosted our first Hudson River National Boat Building Challenge on Hudson River Day! Eleven adult teams and one youth team competed to build a wooden row-boat in under four hours. Community support for the event was great, with over fifteen sponsors.
Boats were judged on speed of competition, quality of build, and a timed relay rowing race on the Rondout Creek. Our esteemed judges included Jim Kricker, Director of the Riverport Wooden Boat School here at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, Wayne Bartow, Director of the Hudson River Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society, and Andrew Willner, Senior Instructor of the Riverport Wooden Boat School.
Team Caduceus, comprising of Jeff Arliss and HRMM's Jack Weeks, took third place! Arliss practices medicine in Kingston and lives in New Paltz. Weeks, who lives in Eddyville, is a longtime board member of the Hudson River Maritime Museum, and a timber framer with some boatbuilding experience.
Coming in at second place was the Rifton Rascals - Eric Flavin amd Brandon Craig! Flavin is a longtime New Paltz resident and known for being able to build "anything at anytime". When he's not building something, he enjoys hiking in New Hampshire with his daughter. Brandon Craig is the future son-in-law of Eric and is hoping to stay in good favor with his future father-in-law by not injuring him in this challenge. No injuries were had and the team had fun!
Our first place team, Carolina Flare, hails from North Carolina. Comprised of Bobby Staab and Josh Fulp, the team was first to finish their boat. Sporting an ever-present mustache and the same "Challenge" shorts worn during every competition, Bobby Staab notes the one time he stayed awake more than three hours, he pressure washed and stained a deck; painted the house; cut the grass; and changed the spark plugs in all his neighbors' cars! Josh Fulp is a General Contractor who got his first skill saw when he was twenty-four months old. Boatbuilding lore has it that Fulp keeps extra fasteners and a few tools tucked in his beard!
Congratulations to all our teams! Building a wooden boat in under four hours is a gigantic accomplishment and a lot of hard work.
Below is a photo gallery of the day's event.
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.
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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.