Vermont-based schooner, Lois McClure heading to New York for hull repairs

WATERFORD, N.Y. (AP) A Vermont-based replica of a 19th-century Lake Champlain freighter is making its way to a canal facility in upstate New York for repairs.

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Vermont-based schooner, Lois McClure heading to New York for hull repairs

Launched in 2004, the replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure embarked on eleven journeys with her faithful sidekick and essential power source, the tug C.L. Churchill. Having logged over 5,200 miles on our interconnected lake, canals and rivers, she has ventured as far south as New York City, as far west as Buffalo, and as far north as Quebec City engaging people in the history and archaeology of their waterways. Over 220,000 visitors have stepped on board in 220 communities, and learned of shipbuilding races, naval battles, lake ecology, shipwreck preservation and invasive species.

“Caring for a wooden boat is an ongoing process, much like owning an automobile,” explains Deputy Director Erick Tichonuk, who oversees schooner operations. “It’s never finished, always an ongoing process. As these boats age, greater maintenance and occasionally a larger project are needed. And with replica vessels, we learn a lot from experience, since the boatyards and crews of the past are long gone.”

Annual maintenance of the schooner includes safety inspection and repairs or replacements of accessible portions of the vessel showing wear or rot. Over the years, sections of decking have been replaced, rigging has been repaired and replaced, and repainting is always part of the program. The biggest project so far was replacing the foremast, in 2011.

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