Preserving a piece of history in Honolulu Harbor

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An historic ship is rusting away in Honolulu Harbor. After years of rough seas, there is a new push to make sure the Falls of Clyde isn't forgotten.

Bruce McEwan is determined to preserve a piece of Hawaii's maritime history. The Falls of Clyde was built in Scotland 135 years ago. The four-masted ship used to carry fuel, molasses, and even passengers between Hawaii and the mainland.

"The state needs a museum ship of this vintage that will fill the gap between the Hokulea and the modern vessels," said McEwan, the president of Friends of Falls of Clyde.

The non-profit saved the ship from being scuttled in 2008, but it has been closed to the public for years due to a lack of funds. The group is now trying to raise $3 million to move the vessel into dry dock this summer.

"When the hull is cleaned off, right now there is a complete mystery as to what kind of repairs will be done. Repairs on an iron-hulled ship have to be very precise," explained McEwan.

Volunteers having been taking care of minor maintenance work. Once the ship returns from dry dock, the group plans to restore the cabins and tackle repairs on the main deck.

"Once we start to get something worth seeing and worth talking about then we'll bring people onboard. Whether that will be within a year or so, I'm not sure at this point," said McEwan.

There is a lot of deterioration, but McEwan is confident that change is on the horizon.

"We feel that she's definitely strong enough, and with the repairs she can come back here and be stable for decades to come," he said.

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