The students’ first full day of work began with a big job and a heavy lift. Weighing in at 3,000 pounds, Bowdoin’s foremast was stepped successfully and is now in the process of getting set up to sail the ship North next month. Bowdoin’s new foremast is a strong wood and epoxy laminate design and still has the original iron fittings that sailed with the ship when it was built.
It takes an entire community to maintain a ship with Bowdoin’s heritage so, as we prepared the new mast for service, we saw many hands helping, from our shipwright Andros Kypragoras to student volunteers! The stepping of the mast went smoothly and we were able to return the original coin that was placed at the base of the mast and sailed so many trips to the far north with the ship. We now have a new mast with a very old coin (114 years to be exact).
Our students spend many hours helping to prepare the ship for sail each year. The waterfront staff also work on the vessel year-round, lending their talents and skills to help in the stewardship of Bowdoin. These dedicated people, along with supporters and enthusiasts, friends and foundations, will ensure that Bowdoin will sail for another 100 years.
Maine Maritime Academy is a special place where our students train on some of the most technologically advanced equipment in our ship simulators and then, the same afternoon, sail on a traditional sailing vessel learning the traditions of sailing and seamanship that will serve them well as they go out into the maritime industry.