In an update from the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, they say that in June, US Coast Guard inspectors discovered “serious problems” with steel in the Hawaiian Chieftain on more than fifteen percent of her hull and her bowsprit.
The tall ship is reportedly forbidden from operating until these issues are resolved. They say that the cost of the repairs in either location is more than the current value of the ship.
Because of this, the seaport is looking to sell the boat and focus on the Lady Washington.
In their update, they say that there are a number of reasons for the possible sale, including the loan that is currently carried on Hawaiian Chieftain, the amount of money already invested into repairs these last several years, and the profit and loss compared to other areas of the Seaport.
“After reviewing all of our options, financially this made the most sense. “
The seaport says that as the Chieftain has been a part of their fleet for nearly three decades, this was a difficult decision to make.
When the weather allows, they intend to bring her back to Aberdeen where she can be hauled out until a new owner is found.
They add that if the funding for the repairs were found, they would reconsider their options.
Also in their update, the seaport states that they plan to serve more students through both our workforce development program, The Seafarer Collective, and our Voyages of Explorers youth program, as well as, continuing to maintain and improve our vessels and Seaport Landing in the coming year.
They tell KXRO that an updated strategic plan focuses on three goals:
- Increase public awareness
- Make Seaport Landing a community and tourist destination
- Maintain the fleet to allow sailing for years to come
In order to ensure the success of this mission, they say it is necessary to home in on our key assets — Lady Washington and Seaport Landing. Lady Washington is currently at the Seaport for her first extended winter maintenance period in at least 12 years.
“…your support is helping us develop Seaport Landing into a destination that will change our community. As we revitalize and repurpose the site, we continue to focus on creating a vibrant and inviting center for tourism and education.”
The concept they work toward includes:
- A maritime museum and exhibits
- A trade school in partnership with Harbor High (Aberdeen School District) and Grays Harbor College
- Adult education and classroom space for The Seafarer Collective, our maritime workforce development training program
- An event center to host community events
- Leasing space to other businesses (Current leases include Standard Truss, Industrial Assets, Washington Motorcycle Safety Training, and most recently a local artist.)
- Shops and restaurants
- Floating pier and public waterfront access
- Longboat restoration and programming