Why Ernestina needs to sail:
This is the closing comment from Leon Poindexter’s 2012 Conditions Survey Report With Recommendations and Rehabilitation Cost Estimates for Schooner Ernestina .
There are other educational and tourism reasons but THIS important reason explains why we all need to work to get Ernestina SAILING again. This important National Treasure will not survive as a permanent dockside attraction.
“This report has addressed only what tasks and funds are perceived necessary to return Ernestina to safe sailing service. There is a substantial difference in time and money in restoring the vessel to qualify for re-instatement as a sub chapter “T” (passenger carrying) vessel as opposed to continuing a full restoration including replacement of deck timbers, decking and bulwarks as was done with the bow section. Time-wise it is essential to return Ernestina to service as quickly as possible as a regularly operating vessel in the very near future or the vessel will continue to deteriorate and become even more costly to restore. As a dockside attraction at her present level of maintenance, she will continue to deteriorate at an accelerated rate. For a large wooden vessel to survive, it needs the attention of a full time captain and crew and most importantly salt water. When a vessel is in use she is constantly immersed in salt water from spray and waves and her deck often gets a good dousing. Rainwater is the most destructive element to a wooden ship, and sitting at a dock she gets nothing but rainwater. Salt is a preservative to wood while rainwater destroys wood. There is an old, very wise, saying on the waterfront, “Use it or lose it”. And it would be most regretful to lose this important maritime treasure, the very last vessel of her kind and one with such a colorful history. The immediate goal should be to put Ernestina back into active service as quickly as possible.”
You can download the entire report.