Category Archives: Member Updates

Member Update – Mystic Seaport Releases Video on Restoration of Mayflower II

A brand new Mystic Seaport video “Journey to Restoration: Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport” was released today. Mystic Seaport’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard is working in partnership with Plimoth Plantation to restore Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction of the Pilgrims’ vessel. The ship is being repaired using traditional and modern methods that both honor her original construction and recondition her for generations of enjoyment.

Submitted by Connor Zito, Mystic Seaport, May 4, 2016

Member Update – Polynesian Voyaging Canoe Hokule’a Sails into Hampton Roads


Image courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum

The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a (“Star of Gladness” in Hawaiian) is circumnavigating the globe on a voyage whose goals are as impressive as they are important. Hokule’a was built by the Polynesian Voyaging Society in the 1970s, more than 600 years after any other voyaging canoe existed.

Designed and sailed using skills that very nearly went extinct, Hokule’a seeks the wisdom of all indigenous peoples in a search for ideas on dealing with global concerns applied on a global scale. Appealing particularly to students and their communities, Hokule’a brings attention to the message of Mālama Honua – “to care for the Earth” in Hawaiian.

Hokule’a will be welcomed into Hampton Roads waters by a flotilla on Friday, April 22. She will then stay docked in Newport News for the Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 23 at the James River Fishing Pier. The celebration will include tours of Hokule’a, educational activities for families, and chances to meet the crew members. On Sunday, April 24, Hokule’a will sail to Yorktown for a traditional welcoming ceremony with Native American tribes followed by an afternoon celebration and tours of Hokule’a.

Throughout the visit, Hokule’a’s crew will participate in multiple public programs. On Thursday, April 28,  the crew will deliver a special lecture on Traditional Polynesian Wayfinding at the Museum. On Friday, April 29, the Museum will host Exploring the Seas Homeschool Day with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. There will also be special opportunities for Hampton Roads students to visit with the crew in their own classrooms.

Hokule’a will remain at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown until May 8, when the canoe will continue sailing north, eventually visiting Washington, D.C., in time for a possible presidential declaration of National Oceans’ Month.

For more information about Hokule’a’s visit please go Or, you may contact Anne Marie Millar at (757) 591-7748 or email

Submitted by Jenna Dill, The Mariners Museum, April 11, 2016

Member Update – San Francisco Maritime NHP


Step Thayer Mizzen

C.A. THAYER mizzen mast being installed. NPS photo

San Francisco, CA – Yesterday, a San Francisco-minted, 1895 gold piece, donated by the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, was laid on the mainmast step of the 1895 C.A. Thayer. Moments later, a mobile crane at Alameda’s Bay Ship and Yacht yard deftly fitted the 109-foot, 8.4-ton “stick” through a two-and-a-half foot hole carved in her planked deck. With the installation of her masts, the National Historic Landmark vessel’s preservation is nearly complete.

C.A. Thayer will return to Hyde Street Pier later this month, where Park staff will completely rig the vessel. The newly-masted schooner will be honored at the Park’s 2016 Festival of the Sea, a free, all-day public event scheduled for Saturday, August 20.

“We’re excited to bring C.A. Thayer back to Hyde Street Pier during the National Park Service’s centennial year,” said Park Superintendent Hendricks. “I invite the public to visit Hyde Street Pier this spring and watch our historic rigging crew install wire and line on all three of her new masts.”

A “stepping the mast” ceremony is a hoary maritime tradition, dating to at least the days of ancient Rome. At one time thought to bring good luck, placing a coin (or other memorabilia) under a vessel’s mast is now as much a part of shipbuilding custom as a smashed-champagne-bottle launch.

C.A. Thayer’s History

Built at Fairhaven, on Humboldt Bay in Northern California, in 1895, C.A. Thayer alone represents the hundreds of vessels built for the West Coast lumber trade. Constructed by Hans Bendixsen, she was originally owned by the E.K. Wood Lumber Company of San Francisco. The vessel spent the early years of her career carrying Douglas fir lumber from the Wood Company mill at Grays Harbor, Washington, to San Francisco and Southern California, with occasional longer trips to Mexico and the Pacific Islands.

The schooner retired from the lumber business in 1912, but quickly found work supplying a shore-based salmon fishing operation in Alaska. She changed hands again in 1924, and was refitted for codfishing in the Bering Sea, operating out of Puget Sound, Washington. After a period of lay-up during the depths of the Great Depression, she was purchased by the U.S. Army, and operated as a barge in the Aleutian Campaign, in 1942. Following WWII, Thayer returned to codfishing, and had the distinction of making the last commercial voyage of a large American sailing vessel, in 1950.

C.A. Thayer spent several years on display as a roadside attraction in Washington State. After a refit in Seattle, the schooner voyaged under sail down the Pacific Coast to San Francisco where, in 1963, she berthed at Hyde Street Pier as part of the newly-opened State Maritime Historical Park. The vessel was transferred, with the rest of that Park’s holdings, to the National Park Service in 1977. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984, and is now preserved by the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Submitted by Lynn Cullivan, San Francisco Maritime NHP, February 2, 2016

Member Update – National Coast Guard Museum Association



President George H.W. Bush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush join members of the Board of Directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc., in announcing $4million in private support for the museum.  From left to right, JD Power III, Susan Curtin, Jimmy Coleman, Jr., Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, Richard J. Grahn, Sen. Catherine Cook, and John S. Johnson

Houston, TX (Jan. 21, 2016) – The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. announced commitments of over $4 million in pledges from private and corporate sponsors during a special event at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The pledges for construction of America’s first National Coast Guard Museum were announced as President George H. W. Bush and other noted supporters from across the country hosted an advanced screening of Walt Disney Pictures’ production of “The Finest Hours.”  The advanced screening of the film, which chronicles a dramatic Coast Guard rescue off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952, was not a fundraising event. Instead, the invitation-only screening was intended to raise awareness about the museum. The awareness was certainly raised, marking a tremendous success.

“This wonderful event, which was focused around Disney’s exciting portrayal of one of the greatest rescues in Coast Guard history, truly emphasizes the need and generous support for our museum,” said Richard J. Grahn, President and Executive Director of the National Coast Guard Museum Association. “It’s also a testimony to the power of this and other great stories of human courage and sacrifice by uniformed members of the United States Coast Guard, which will be featured and displayed with the honor they deserve in the National Coast Guard Museum.”

The movie is based on the bestselling book, “The Finest Hours,” co-authored by Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias. Sherman attended the advanced screening and presented the evening’s hosts, President and Mrs. Bush, with signed copies of the book.

The museum, which is now in the pre-construction design phase, will be a celebration of the Coast Guard’s 225 years of service to the country, a salute to the courage and skill of its dedicated men and women, and a glimpse into its exciting and vital future, Grahn said.

The Museum used the occasion of the screening to announce the following pledges:

  • The largest pledge was made by James David Power III and the Power family foundation, Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation, which each provided support of $1 million for the museum. A pioneer in customer satisfaction research, Power founded J.D. Power and Associates and built it into a global brand. Power served as a commissioned officer on a Coast Guard icebreaker in the Arctic and Antarctica from 1953-1957, after which he earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business before joining Ford Motor Company.
  • Donald “Boysie” Bollinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Bollinger Enterprises and a long-time supporter of the importance of this museum, pledged $1 million in support. Bollinger is the chairman and chief executive officer of Bollinger Enterprises and the former chairman and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards Inc., established in 1946. The United States Coast Guard has called upon Bollinger Shipyards to build many of its patrol vessels.
  • The members of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national association of the nation’s tugboat, towboat, and barge industry, are also making significant commitments to the museum.  Commitments to date are approaching $2 million, with cornerstone pledges from Jeffersonville, Indiana-based American Commercial Lines, Nashville-based Ingram Barge Company, and Houston-based Kirby Corporation.  Local AWO member, Merichem, has recently added its pledge to the growing list of commitments from AWO member companies.  Kirby chairman Joe Pyne, American Commercial Lines CEO Mark Knoy, and Merichem CEO Kendra Lee were recognized at the event for their companies’ commitments.

Others in attendance included former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, the 25th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft, and U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas 18thDistrict).

The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. is continuing its work to raise funds from private and corporate donations for construction of the $100 million National Coast Guard Museum on the historic waterfront in downtown New London, Connecticut.

Submitted by B.J. Finnell

Member Update –Evelyn S Preservation Completed

After a year and a half of dedicated effort, the Michigan Maritime Museum announces that the preservation of its 1939 wooden fish tug, the Evelyn S, was completed in the fall of 2015 through the good work of apprentices from the Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) and local contractors.


Grant funding for the project was awarded to the City of South Haven and the Michigan Maritime Museum (MMM) from the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, Coastal Zone Management Program, Department of Environmental Quality. Lead financial contributions to match the grant were made by Cottage Home, Inc., owned and operated by MMM board member, Brian Bosgraaf. Preservation efforts included an initial marine survey conducted by Pat Mahon, director and lead instructor of the GLBBS. Rebuilding much of the tug’s deteriorated house was a major part of the preservation process undertaken by GLBBS apprentice Hans Wagner. Painting the entire boat and re exhibiting it in a newly landscaped section of the Museum’s campus finished the project.

To enhance the exhibit, a technology station was added at the base of the Evelyn S with a video that features the history of commercial fishing in South Haven, the process of moving and preserving the tug and some inside footage of its pilot house, Kalenberg engine and net lifter equipment:

Submitted by Sandy Norris, Michigan Maritime Museum

National Coast Guard Museum Association – Member Update

National Coast Guard Museum Launches Social Media Campaign to Collect Stories from the Ranks

#mycoastguardstory hashtag announced in anticipation of “The Finest Hours,” the greatest Coast Guard rescue story ever told

New London, Conn.  (November 25, 2015) – The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. has launched a new social media initiative designed to collect and share personal stories of heroism and honor dedicated to the United States Coast Guard.  The campaign gets underway as excitement builds for the release of the Disney Motion Picture, “The Finest Hours,” which hits movie theaters across the country on January 29, 2016.

The #mycoastguardstory initiative is gathering stories from current Coast Guard men and women, veterans, reservists, auxiliary members and civilians who are sharing personal experiences of how the United States Coast Guard has impacted their lives.  The tie-in to “The Finest Hours” is appropriate, as it tells the true story of the daring Coast Guard rescue attempts of crews from two crippled tankers off the coast of Cape Cod in February, 1952.

“This effort will help us tell the many stories of the Coast Guard through the eyes of those who served,” said Richard Grahn, President and CEO of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc.

The National Coast Guard Museum, the first and only national museum to be dedicated solely to the U.S. Coast Guard, will be built on the waterfront in downtown New London, Connecticut, home of United States Coast Guard Station New London and the United States Coast Guard Academy.  The location was selected by the U.S. Coast Guard and the land conveyed by the City of New London in 2014.

“We are encouraging everyone to go follow us on Facebook and Instagram @uscgmuseum to share their story of what the Coast Guard means to them,” said Wes Pulver, Executive Director of the National Coast Guard Museum and former captain of the Coast Guard Barque EAGLE. “As excitement builds for the release of “The Finest Hours,” we are gathering stories from young and old, from near and far, to preserve the rich history of our Coast Guard.  By using the hashtag “mycoastguardstory,” we will start building an extensive social media library open to everyone.”

More details on #mycoastguardstory can be found at

Submitted by Jay Stapleton.