Historic 'Falls of Clyde' has sights set on dry dock

Historic 'Falls of Clyde' has sights set on dry dock
Published: Jul. 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 23, 2012 at 8:06 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A national historic landmark is rusting away. The "Falls of Clyde" is docked near the Aloha Tower Marketplace. It was one of the first vessels to sail for Matson and has been around the islands for nearly 100-years.

Even on a bright blue sunny day, the only thing that's clear for this historic ship is that it's seen better days.

"I did a tour of the then restored Falls of Clyde and I just fell in love with this ship, it's one of the most beautiful ships I've seen," said Chris Jannini who is a ship preservation specialist for The National Park Service.

"The mana on this ship is still very strong within this iron hull," said Bruce McEwan - President of the Friends of Falls of Clyde.

A ship that once sailed throughout the world, now sits quietly, awaiting its future. One that looked stalled in time until this week when the National Park Service sent a ship preservationist from San Francisco to document the vessel's needs. This is the first step in getting the Falls of Clyde to dry dock.

"It's a huge aid to be able to go to the dry dock and say this is the work that we need done that's most critical, so what we need now is to look at the ship, photograph it, videotape it, the below spaces, to describe what we're seeing," said Jannini. "Then we'll have a chance to sit back and look at all those photos and to identify where we really have to start with the work."

Jannini says there's much work to be done, especially in the ship's bow and stern areas, where he's seen substantial deterioration.

"She's not only rusting from the outside in like you would expect as a ship in the water, but also from the inside out," said Jannini.

The ship's owners hope to have it in dry dock by the end of 2012. Once back, the hull will be stabilized and it'll also have a new paint job. But work will be far from over and complete restoration comes with a hefty price tag.

"Boy if you had $35-million it could be done in two-years, if you don't have $35-million it could take 15-years," said Jannini.

The president of the Friends of Falls of Clyde says they should be able to restore the ship for a third of that cost and hopes to re-open the national historic landmark to the public within a few years.

"For those people who can remember what she looked like in her glory days, when she was totally restored, need to be able to project that vision that over time she can in fact be restored again," said McEwan.

The Friends of Falls of Clyde is asking for the communities support to help restore the ship. Whether it be volunteering your time, or monetary donations.