The Restoration Process

Thanks to your generous support we’ve completed Phases 1, 2, and 3. We are now raising funds for Phase 4. We need your help to get Columbia to the Hudson River!

Phase 1: The Shore-Up

Total number of rivets to be repaired: 950

In the graving dock at Toledo Shipyard in Toledo, Ohio, Columbia sat out of water while the hull was scraped, sandblasted and surveyed. The SS Columbia Project crew, working closely with US Coast Guard inspectors, identified the plates and rivets to be repaired. The shipyard cropped out areas of riveted hull plating and installed new welded inserts. Other completed work includes removal of 2 tons of zebra mussels from the hull, cleanup of the fuel tanks, removal of debris from the main deck and cabins, and removal of tattered shrink wrap and storm curtains.

Phase 2: The Tow to Buffalo

Miles traveled to reach the Empire State: 235.

On September 2, 2015, Columbia landed in New York State for the first time — journeying 235 miles from Toledo, OH to Buffalo, NY. Columbia received a warm welcome from a flotilla led by the fireboat Cotter, the tall ship Spirit of Buffalo, and countless kayakers as she was towed to a dock at Silo City in the Buffalo River.

Phase 3: Winterization

Amount of snowfall expected: Do we really want to know?

Columbia is currently docked in the Buffalo River where our crew prepared her for the past winter. This work included the removal of rotten temporary decking and framing on the upper decks; loading on replacement lumber and plywood; jacking and shoring the outer sections of the upper decks; installing framing and temporary decking on the Hurricane Deck port side; installing security fencing around the perimeter of the main deck; and enclosing the engine room casing.

Phase 4: The Tow to Kingston

Statute miles the ship will travel to reach Kingston: 2,017 miles

Columbia will be towed up the St. Lawrence River and down the Atlantic Coast (her first dip in salt water!) before heading up the Hudson River to a shipyard in Kingston, NY where she will be prepared for her new home – New York City

Phase 5: Restoration

Number of times people tell us “you have your work cut out for you!” after seeing the SS Columbia in the shipyard: Countless

In Kingston, NY, Columbia will undergo a bow-to-stern, wheelhouse-to-hull, sustainable restoration. This includes figuring out how to green her steam engines!

Phase 6: Relaunch!

Book your ticket now! 

Once fully restored and back in service, Columbia will revive the grand tradition of the Hudson River excursion steamboats offering the chance to get out on the water for the day. The boat will reconnect New York City to Hudson River cities and serve as a cultural flagship – offering educational and cultural programming both dockside in New York City and underway on the River.