Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 22 October 2010 00:00
The oyster sloop Christeen is now safely ensconced in her new berth – Building J on the Western Waterfront, and was welcoming visitors during the Oyster Festival.
Georgia Filasky, Western Waterfront Supervisor has been watching the progress of the move. She works for both the state and the town, as well as working with the DEC. She also partnered with Jennifer Sappell co-chair of the Tall Ships portion of the Oyster Festival. Ms. Filasky got the permits for the tall ships to tie up to the pier.
The Christeen has been at work at the watefront bringing about 17,000 people out on the Bay since the Spring of 2002, when she was presented to the Waterfront Center (WFC) by the Christeen Oyster Sloop Preservation Corp. along with the remaining funds she raised for her original restoration. Over the past eight years, she has put in over 3,000 hours of service.
The Christeen has been well maintained by the WFC’s volunteers. However, during the winter of 2009, rot was found in her keel around the centerboard trunk. Shipwright Josh Herman drained, patched and strengthened the area, and declared that the Christeen would hold together well for a few years.
Nevertheless, her keel, which is the original from 1883, needs to be replaced.
Inside Building J, Clint Smith is organizing the work on restoring the Christeen.
“Clint has already set up his saw mill inside the building. It is up and ready to go,” said Ms. Filasky. “They roll up logs and cut the wood they need.”
They got the ship there by having it pulled out of the water at the Seawanhaka Yacht Club boatyard, she said. Then it was trucked to Oyster Bay where they switched trailers and backed it up to get it into the building and have blocked it up. Josh and Joe, the two shipwrights were there on the weekend. They will be there until the Christeen is done and then the Ida May will move in.
When the oyster boat the Ida May is finished, the WFC will be able to take an entire class onboard the boat for maritime education classes.
The first focus however, is raising funds for the Christeen.
If you would like to help the effort, the Christeen Benefit Party takes place on Oct. 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Beaver Dam Winter Club. The evening includes substantial hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. There will be a live auction; a silent auction; and a slide show. Please come and help raise awareness, support and funds for the repairs this winter to Christeen’s mast and keel to ensure that she can continue to provide access to this beautiful harbor. Tickets are $30 per person. Call 922-SAIL for information.