ALAMEDA, California: The Balclutha, a 131-year-old sailing ship that is part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, is about to get some much needed maintenance at Bay Ship & Yacht Co.
The work will include adding a modern feature to the steel-hulled, square-rigged ship: a wheel chair lift.
The lift will lead from the main deck to the ship’s lower cargo holds, which will allow more visitors to explore the ship and learn what is was like to be part of the crew.
The project, announced on Thursday (Friday in Manila), will mark the third time that Bay Ship & Yacht Co. has worked on the three mast ship.
“The Balclutha is truly a gem of American history,” said Richard Maguire, the shipyard’s business development manager. “It is a rare day that you are able to see one of these grand old ladies high and dry in dock.”
After its undocked, the Balclutha will remain at the yard pier side, where the foremast, mainmast and mizzenmast yard arms will be removed for repairs and painting.
“Bay Ship and Yacht has a deep understanding of these great historic sailing ships, and the yard still works with and maintains many of the original tools required to perform proper maintenance on these older vessels,”
Maguire said. “We will use these tools to repair and replace the poop decking with caulking, irons, oakum and pitch.”
The work will include an ultrasonic hull plate survey, which will indicate whether the plate will need to replaced or repaired, and a full sand blast of its freeboard and underbody.