Back in the summer we ran a story about the demise of the “Falls of Clyde,” the only surviving iron-hulled, four-masted full-rigged ship, and the only surviving sail-driven oil tanker in the world. It was donated to Hawaii’s Bishop Museum and opened to the public in 1968; declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1989. It’s been a museum, moored at Pier 7 in Honolulu Harbor as part of the Hawaii Maritime Center.
We reported that Unless a buyer were to step up with the millions of dollars needed to save it, the ship would be sunk in September – on purpose – 15 miles off Honolulu Harbor. We jokingly suggested that you might consider kicking in for the cause.
Well, the Falls of Clyde has been rescued!
Bishop Museum is giving the 130-year-old ship to a community group that plans to restore it as an educational facility and tourist destination. The Friends of the Falls of Clyde will try to raise about $2 million for initial repairs to the ship as well as a study on all the work needed to restore the vessel so it can be reopened to the public. An earlier assessment had put the price tag at up to $32 million.
In addition to raising funds, the group is looking for volunteers and in-kind support. The Falls of Clyde will stay at Honolulu Harbor for a month or more before being towed to dry dock. It apparently is grand enough to be towed after repairs Bishop Museum made to it to prepare it for scuttling.
It may take years, but Hawaii vacationers will once again be able to visit a unique historical attraction and educational center.