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Tall Ship Elissa in Dry Dock for Repairs

The “Official Tall Ship of Texas”, the Elissa, has been pulled into a shipyard dry dock in Texas City to get a much needed overhaul – stem to stern, as they say.  Let’s just say that at the ripe old age of 135, Elissa’s mileage is showing.


source: Texas Seaport Museum

Elissa needs a lot more than simple cosmetic work.  The Galveston Daily News reports it’s going to cost $1.5 million dollars to do all the work Elissa needs.  The Coast Guard yanked her sailing permit last year when an inspection showed her iron hull had rusted nearly all the way through in several places.

Coast Guard inspectors were on board as the barque made its way from its moorings at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston to the Bollinger Texas City LP shipyard. The ship’s hull will be reinspected and a decision will be made on how many of its original iron plates must be replaced with steel. The shipyard will also install new decking and new sails, to get Elissa ready to sail by next June for the first time in more than two years.

Elissa is owned by the Galveston Historical Foundation and she’s not open to the public. That means you can’t just walk up and buy a ticket. Sailing on Elissa is by invitation only, because the Foundation can’t afford to make all the modifications the Coast Guard requires to make it safe for paying passengers.

However, the Seaport Museum trains volunteer crews who take her out on short day-sails several times a year.  Anyone interested in being one of the volunteers can contact the Seaport Museum.

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