Bowdoin Hull Restoration Project

In November 2018, the schooner Bowdoin was hauled out of Penobscot Bay’s wintry waters to undergo a hull planking and framing refit in Boothbay Harbor, where she was built 97 years ago. Maine Maritime Academy is pleased to be working with Bristol Marine at The Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor to complete this work.

MMA’s decision to complete hull work on Bowdoin will ensure that the vessel is able to continue her mission of training MMA students through rigorous training voyages to remote areas of the Canadian Maritimes, serving as the State of Maine’s official vessel, and upholding her status as a National Historic Landmark. The work to be completed includes bottom planking and possible frame replacement. The extent of the work will depend upon what is found once plank removal begins. Read the blog to learn more about our progress, or follow us on social media!

Latest Update


Week of April 22, 2019

Posted on: April 25, 2019

Our work on Bowdoin will be coming to an end over the next seven weeks so that the vessel will be ready to sail for our annual training cruises. This year, we will have two CR-313 training cruises that take rising seniors on 14-day offshore voyages to Nova Scotia. These training cruises act as a concentrated capstone course for students in the Vessel Operations and Technology major.  During each trip, students cover topics such as celestial navigation, passage planning, weather routing, bridge resource management, vessel systems operations, and electronic navigation. Students will also each spend a day serving as the vessel’s galley assistant to see what it takes to feed a crew of 16!

But, there is still plenty of work to do before we go sailing. This week we finalized all the futtock replacements, put four new planks on the vessel – including the garboard plank on the port side – and finalized plans to put six new “keel bolts” in the vessel.

These “keel bolts” will go from the top of the keelson and connect to the bottom of the keel where there is a steel shoe.  The steel shoe is a feature unique to Bowdoin and was designed to protect the vessel from groundings and ice.  The 1-1/8” diameter steel rods used for the bolts will be welded to the 7/8” thick steel shoe and to a steel plate on top of the keelson.  These extra fastenings will provide increased strength to the vessel and will ensure that the keel remains secured to the vessel. In order to reach the steel shoe, several keel bolts will require us to drill through around five feet of wood.

I hope that all the students at MMA are having a good last week of classes and wish them the best of luck on finals next week!

All the best,

Captain McLean

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