Maritime Heritage Alliance Prepping for Upcoming Sailing Season
"Preserving history allows us to properly understand and respect our present."
Preserving these historic ships is not easy work.
It takes hundreds of hours to get them out on the water each spring. Many of these volunteers are hooked on history and love working with their own two hands, so they don’t mind spending their days this way.
These volunteer hours are spent fixing rotting wood, painting and plenty of sanding.
Outreach Coordinator for Champion, Anne Donn says, “There’s sanding and then there’s more sanding and there’s more sanding and then there is indeed, more sanding. The prep of surface is big, then there is application of paint and varnish that control sun damage and rot and water damage.”
This shared love for the Great Lakes and maritime is bringing volunteers together to share their knowledge and passions.
“I think that it’s a place where knowledge is shared and crafts are taught from the sparr over that’s getting dry rot taken out and how to patch in a new piece of wood to how to put varnish on,” says Anne Donn.
New volunteers like Eagle Scout, Gabe Kennis say, “It’s an absolute joy to learn from the volunteers here – they have been dedicated to these vessels and these traditions of sailing and every time I start a conversation I end up in these nautical radicals where you don’t even expect a conversation to build that way and you learn how much knowledge below the surface.”
“Preserving history allows us to properly understand and respect our present,” says Gabe Kennis.