By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“She's more sound now. She's safer and will handle a lot better now that it's all done,” said Daniel Evans, one of the vessel's alternating captains.
“This is not just about this year, but 40 or 50 years into the future,” he added.
The 100-ton ship was strapped into a lift Friday at the Port Townsend Boat Haven and transported about 50 yards from its winter berth into the water.
Sailing programs start this week and last through October, although they could extend later into the year, Evans said.
For the last five winters, the boat has been removed from the water at the Boat Haven to have parts restored or replaced using wood materials that are more durable than what was used during the original construction, Evans said.
During this time, the hull, masts, drive train and other parts were restored or replaced.
Now that repairs are completed, the boat will be in the water year-round.
The schedule has not been determined, but it will be mostly in Port Townsend and Seattle, Evans said.
No major repairs are expected in the next few years, although the deck will eventually need replacement, according to Sound Experience Board Chair Ken Greff.
The repairs that have been made to the boat were expensive but money is not the most important factor in the restoration, according to Greff and Sound Experience Executive Director Catherine Collins.
“The value of a historic vessel like this to the community and the world can't be measured,” Collins said.
“She gives back far more than what we invest in her.”
Evans said that the Adventuress tends to retain most of its crew members from one year to the next.
That “says a lot about the health of the organization,” he added.
“We are all getting older, but it seems like the Adventuress is getting younger.”
The schooner was built in East Boothbay, Maine, in 1913 for John Borden, who wanted to sail it to Alaska.
A year later, it was sold to the Port of San Francisco as a pilot ship.
Sold again in 1952, it was moved to the Pacific Northwest. The nonprofit Sound Experience, based in Port Townsend, has operated it since 1989.
In recent years, an average of 5,000 people have participated annually in its sailing programs, with that many again visiting the ship in port.
For information about programs phone 360-379-0438 or visit www.soundexp.org.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.