SS Columbia: The People's Boat
A boat with 118 years of stories.
2020 is a critical year for the boat. We recently completed a laser scan of the deckhouse and interior hull spaces. With this highly accurate data, we can begin to map out exactly how the restoration will proceed. It will also allow us to create various “virtual restorations” so we can see how our decisions will translate onto the boat herself, and also help us fit in some of the modern amenities that will be required when she resumes operation as an inspected passenger vessel.
Other recent work on a stability assessment of the superstructure and a historic features report has given us the information we need to prepare the boat for the journey from Buffalo to New York City.
With the help of a Maritime Heritage Grant from the National Park Service and an Environmental Protection Fund grant from the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, we have a large portion of the funding we need for the work that needs to be accomplished before Columbia departs Buffalo.
Our next funding goal is to raise the funds to get Columbia to the Hudson River. We will need $2.5 million to hire an ocean-going ship to transport her via the St. Lawrence Seaway and down the New England coast – that’s a trip of some 2020 miles!
Once on the Hudson River, we will begin the restoration. We are still talking to several NYC and Hudson River locations to determine where that work will take place.