Following yard work, Maine’s historic schooner ‘Bowdoin’ relaunches in Camden June 6

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 10:00am

    Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine, in Camden, is inviting the public to attend the relaunching of the Maine Maritime Academy training vessel, the schooner Bowdoin, June 6, at the boatyard. Cannons are to be fired, horns sounding, and the Bowdoin will be fitted out to her finest.

    The 95-year-old schooner has been in the boatyard’s shed since last October, undergoing a restoration.

    Lyman-Morse teamed with Andros Kypragoras, of Whitefield, for this project, which including reengineering and installing new fuel and black water tanks, and a new exhaust system. Lyman-Morse Fabrication built the tanks and exhaust.

    Yard electricians undertook a major overhaul of the electrical system, rewiring the charging system and the feeds to electrical panels. Andros and his team of shipwrights focused on the woodworking and removed and replaced the deck plus additional planks. 

    Monday’s schedule is as follows: (All subject to change due to conditions and circumstances)

    7 a.m., start to move boat from building. Public viewing in front of Main Office and upper parking lot only.

    8 to 8:30 a.m., the keel touches water.

    Until 12:30 p.m., the Bowdoin will be in slings in launch pit. Being a wooden boat that has been high and dry for nine months, she will spend the morning soaking, and swelling to water tightness. The lift operator will lift or lower to accommodate the progress.

    At approximately 12:30 p.m., depending on aforementioned progress, there will be a cannon salute, and air horn blasts will announce official launching.  Slings will be dropped and the ship will float out of the launching area. She will then be towed around to the face docks.

    In May 2015, William J. Brennan, president of Maine Maritime Academy, said that the Bowdoin Centennial Campaign, a $1.6 million fundraising campaign launched by the Academy in November 2014, received a lead gift of $500,000 to help repair the Bowdoin.

    The gift comes from the Herman D. Pollock Family Foundation and was initiated by Jeffrey Pollock of Houston, Texas, who received a master's degree candidate in the global logistics and maritime management program.

    The schooner Bowdoin was launched in 1921 as a specially designed Arctic exploration vessel for Donald B. MacMillan. The Bowdoin was acquired by Maine Maritime Academy in the late 1980s and soon after was designated a National Historic Landmark and the Official Vessel of the State of Maine.

    The ship has made 28 trips above the Arctic Circle; 25 under the command of MacMillan and three captained by Academy faculty and staff. Students in MMA's Vessel Operations and Technology (VOT), Small Vessel Operations (SVO), and other programs navigate and maintain the 88-foot tall ship as part of their at-sea training.

    Maine Maritime Academy is the only college in the United States with a dedicated sail training program that leads to a U.S. Coast Guard license as mate on an auxiliary sail vessel.

    The purpose of the Bowdoin Centennial Campaign is to celebrate the Bowdoin in excellent condition on her 100th birthday in 2021, and to keep her exploring, sailing and training for another 100 years.

    To get there, the money was to fund the replacement of the ship's deck (along with other repairs that will become evident once the old deck is removed), which will cost approximately $600,000; and the ship’s endowment will be strengthened by $1 million in order to protect and preserve her in perpetuity. 

    The Bowdoin Centennial Campaign Cabinet includes Co-Chairman Capt. G. Andy Chase, Co-Chairman Alexander Watson, Fred Atkins, Capt. Bill Cowan, Capt. Cate Cronin, Capt. Dave Fenderson, Lawrence Kaplan, Matthew P. Murphy, Capt. Alec Schoettle, Capt. John Worth, and Capt. Heather Stone. Honorary Cabinet Members include (to date): former Maine Governor Kenneth Curtis, Dr. Pete Rand, Phineas Sprague Jr., Dr. Ed Morse, and Gordon Bok.

    For more information about the Bowdoin Centennial Campaign, contact Kay Hightower at 326-8932

    Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented programs of study.