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.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum announced today its participation in the Bank of America Museums on Us® program, which provides Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders’ free general admission more than 200 of the nation’s finest arts, cultural and educational institutions during the first full weekend of every month.
To qualify for the Museums on Us program, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust customers simply present their credit or debit card and a valid photo ID to gain one free general admission* to any participating institution which is limited to the cardholder and excludes fundraising events, special exhibitions and ticketed shows (not to be combined with other offers).
“This is the bicentennial of the construction of the Erie Canal,” said Lisa Cline, Executive Director of the Hudson River Maritime Museum. “We are delighted to join Bank of America in this exciting program to reach a larger population and welcome them to see our special exhibit commemorating this important transportation innovation that helped to build not only New York State, but the nation itself.”
The Museums on Us program, now in its 21st season, has experienced major growth in recent years due to increased demand, bringing the total geographic reach to 123 cities in 35 states across the country.
“We’re proud to partner with the Hudson River Maritime Museum to offer residents and visitors a chance to experience culture in the local community,” said Jennifer MacPhee, Albany & Hudson Valley President, Bank of America. “As we approach our 21st anniversary of the program, we continue our commitment to supporting our non-profit partners and increasing access to diverse arts and cultural resources for our customers.”
For a complete listing of Museums on Us participating museums and other program information, visit www.bankofamerica.com/museums.
February is the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s annual Show the Museum Some Love membership drive and fundraising month.
This January, HRMM will be launching new and improved membership benefits for individual and corporate donors. For more information about these new and exciting benefits, please visit www.hrmm.org/join.
On Saturday, February 17 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the museum will be hosting “Tie the Knot with HRMM”, an afternoon of adult crafting. Participants will learn various nautical knots, and leave with a made by their own hand necklace, bracelet or keychain. Cost of admission is $35.00 and includes complimentary wine and beer, chili and mac & cheese, and a complimentary individual membership to the museum. Current members are encouraged to gift their membership to a friend. Children are welcome, and kids under 12 years old are free. Tickets available at www.hrmm.org.
Throughout this month-long membership drive, the museum will offer guided tours at 2 p.m. each Friday and Saturday in February. Tours are approximately 60 minutes and included in general admission. They are free to members of HRMM – just another one of the new and improved membership benefits!
All proceeds from HRMM’s membership drive will support the museum’s education programs, including the YouthBoat afterschool workshop. Additional donations to support education programs are appreciated.
For more information, please contact Development & Membership Associate Ellie Burhans at 845-338-0071 ext 19.
The Marina's.com award goes to top two percent of marinas in the nation.
KINGSTON, N.Y. – The Hudson River Maritime Museum has been awarded the 2017 Boater’s Choice award given to the top two percent of marinas in the nation. Selected out of 8,000 participants, HRMM was one of 152 marinas in the country to win the annual award. The Boater’s Choice award is given to marinas that receive an average of four star reviews given by boating customers.
In 2017, HRMM welcomed approximately 6,000 visitors to Kingston onboard private vessels, tall ships, cruise ships, and tour boats by way of the Hudson River. The museum waterfront was also one of the last major stops for the replica Spanish Galleon, El Galeon Andalucia, which attracted an additional 5,000 visitors to the Rondout.
HRMM’s waterfront boasts over 500 feet of dock space on the protected waters of the Rondout Creek, located in the heart of Kingston’s Historic Rondout District. All of the volunteer-built docks are constructed to commercial vessel standards and can accommodate ships up to 270 feet long. With a depth of 16 feet and no height restrictions at the docks, it is the perfect location for large vessels traveling on the Hudson River.
Overnight visitors have access to many amenities including shore power, water, wifi, showers, restrooms, and free admission to the Hudson River Maritime Museum and Riverport Wooden Boat School. Future plans include a new washer and dryer, new shower facilities, improved wifi, ADA access to docks, continued Rondout Lighthouse Tours, and all online booking. The museum’s location provides prime access to shops, restaurants, outdoor recreation, and cultural centers all within walking distance in the lovely historic Rondout Waterfront.
For 2018 docking reservations, please use the mobile application Dockwa, or call the dockmaster at 845-709-8881.
KINGSTON, N.Y. – On Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 2 p.m., Tim Guinee, actor and a leader at the Climate Reality Project, will visit the Hudson River Maritime Museum for “Climate Change and the Hudson Valley,” a presentation and discussion of the latest science concerning climate change in our area and across North America.
“We’re delighted that Tim is coming to the Museum to discuss this topic, which is of concern to anyone who lives or works along the waterfront,” says HRMM Executive Director Lisa Cline.
Founded by Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore, the Climate Reality Project (www.climaterealityproject.org/) is a diverse group of individuals who seek to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by supporting urgent action across every level of society. Guinee’s presentation will use the same deck of images that Vice President Gore uses when the tours the country. Afterwards, he will lead a panel discussion among local elected officials and experts about the implications of climate change for the Hudson Valley.
The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reserve online now.
In addition to his work at the Climate Reality Project, Guinee is a board member of Green Product Placement, which seeks to place environmentally friendly products in motion pictures and television shows. A long-time environmental advocate, he has worked on behalf of the Sierra Club as a volunteer lobbyist in Washington D.C., and has collaborated with politicians from both parties.
KINGSTON, NY - The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to offer a US Coast Guard Captain’s License Course at the Riverport Wooden Boat School four weekends in February and March, 2018.
This course will be taught by Sea Tech Marine Training instructors in accordance with National Maritime Center requirements. Sea Tech Marine Training provides professionally prepared course curriculum and materials and will guide you through all the exam requirements and are USCG approved to administer the exam right here in Kingston, so students will not have to travel to a Coast Guard Exam Center.
This course covers OUPV (Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel - also known as a Six Pack) license for charter boats, as well as the Master’s Level License for vessels less than 100 tons. The Master’s License allows graduates to operate Coast Guard inspected vessels that are permitted to carry more than six passengers for hire. Students who pass the course and obtain their license will be able to become a charter boat captain, start a charter boat business, and/or fulfill maritime career job requirements.
This course is offered over four weekends, Saturday & Sunday February 24, 25, March, 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18 with an optional review session on the evening of Friday, March 16, 2018. Class meets from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. Course fee of $400 includes all course materials. All students registering for this class MUST be members of the Hudson River Maritime Museum at the Household Level ($50) or above. Students who are not yet HRMM members may visit www.hrmm.org/join to register or stop by the museum to join in person.
To register for the course, visit www.seatechmarinetraining.com/schedule.html and click on the February 24, 2018 course in Kingston, NY. This course is limited to 16 students, so register early to ensure your spot.
For more information on the course curriculum, please visit www.seatechmarinetraining.com/course.html. This course covers the OUVP and Master’s Level License curriculum. Students with questions about the course can contact Sea Tech at email@example.com.
KINGSTON, NY - The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to offer two Sailing 101 classes as part of the Riverport Sailing School this fall.
Sailing 101 is the first course of a two-course Basic Keelboat Training Series. It will be offered in the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018. On-the-water course Sailing 102 will be offered in the late spring and summer of 2018.
Sailing 101 will be taught entirely on land and will cover such topics as: Preparation to Sail, Crew Operations and Skills, Sailing Theory, Leaving the Dock or Mooring, Navigation, Navigation Rules, International-Inland, Heavy Weather Sailing, Overboard Rescue Methods, Safety and Emergency Procedures, Anchoring Techniques, Returning to the Dock or Mooring. The course will use the "Learn Sailing Right" textbook published by the United States Sailing Association and will be taught by Christin Ripley, an experienced sailor and US Sailing Certified Basic Keelboat instructor.
This course is offered twice this fall - two Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., November 4 and 11, 2017 OR four Tuesday evenings, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 7, 14, and December 5, and 12, 2017.
Tuition for HRMM members at the Household level and above is $175. Non-members are $220. Tuition includes all course materials, including the “Learn Sailing Right” textbook published by US Sailing.
To register for the course, visit www.hrmm.org/sailing-school.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum and the Rondout Rowing Club will host a Head of the Rondout rowing race on Sunday, October 15, on the historic Rondout Creek in Kingston, New York.
“Head” races are time-trial rowing competitions. In Kingston, boats will launch one by one at the Museum, row up the Rondout toward the Eddyville Bridge, circle back, and race from the bridge to the Rondout Lighthouse. The three-mile course requires crews to navigate around some obstacles. Boats will begin launching at HRMM, at 50 Rondout Landing, at 8 a.m.
“This is a warm-up event for crews racing the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston the following weekend,” says HRMM Trustee Scott Johnson, who coaches the Kingston High School Varsity Crew team and organized this competition. Rondout Rowing Club has two teams competing on the Charles, “so this is ideal practice for us,” Johnson says.
The Head of the Rondout is designed for all ages and classes of boats, and it is open to all rowers, free of charge. Competitors will range from middle school students to adults. In addition to the Rondout Rowing Club youth crews, boats from the Rondout Rowing Club, the Hudson Valley Rowing Association, and other rowing teams and clubs will compete.
“Rondout Creek offers ideal conditions for a head race,” says Lisa Cline, executive director of HRMM. “The Hudson River Valley has a long history of rowing and we’re really excited to support this new race here in Kingston. The Head of the Rondout is another sign of the powerful resurgence of the sport of rowing in our area.”
Crews interested in competing should contact Scott Johnson at 845-901-2386. The deadline to register is October 7.
Members of the press are invited to attend. For more information, contact Tim Cross at 845-338-0071, ext 17.
For more information about the Hudson River Maritime Museum, visit www.hrmm.org, like HRMM on Facebook, or call 845-338-0071.
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.
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.