Sunday, May 18, 2014

Progress on the S.S. Columbia Project: An Update

Last year at about this time, Gossips reported on the project to bring the National Historic Landmark steamship S.S. Columbia, the last surviving steamer in America, to the Hudson River and restore her. This year, there's an update on the project's progress.

The exciting news is that next year, in spring 2015, the S.S. Columbia is expected to make the trip from the Detroit River, where it is now moored, to the Hudson River, where the steamship will be restored to its former glory with the goal of reviving the historic water transportation link between New York City and the Hudson Valley. It has not been determined how Columbia will make the journey, whether towed by a barge or on a barge, but the journey will be by water--from the Detroit River into Lake Erie, through the Welland Canal into Lake Ontario, along the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic, then down the coast to New York Harbor, and from there to the Hudson River, where Columbia will be moored in Kingston while it is being restored. Kingston was chosen because the Clearwater is docked there and Hudson River Maritime Museum is there, but Hudson needs to prepare, so that when the Columbia has been restored it can stop here as the day liners did in the past.



  1. It would be wonderful to have a Steamship like this be able to dock in Hudson along with other large boats such as the American Spirit Cruise lines and others, but the problem is that Hudson doesn't have the adequate dockage to accommodate such large boats. This boat in particular is 968 gross tons. Even if the commercial dock that exist now was available, it could never handle any boats more then 150 tons. It would rip those docks to shreds. The seawall along the boat launch parking lot would be ideal for any of those boats, but that is blocked by the Hudson Power Boat Assn. Holcim owns the seawall that is 450 ft long just to south which is also a good candidate, but Holcim would never give that up. The only other option and solution would be East Jesus just south of Holcim just past an old south barge slip that has a few boulders pushed in there, which that extended land, once a pier existed years gone by, one with timbers, decked and extended out about 40ft like the clear water dock in Poughkeepsie, to enable safe docking with dolfins on either side for tie up and to permit enough water to accommodate her 12-13ft draft. Since the city does own that property and if done correctly, it is a viable solution and a very good candidate. Unfortunately, the LWRP being screwed up as it is and it inhibiting procurement of any kind of funding and I am sure "unheimlich" could add a lot more to this with his extensive knowledge to give realism to what obstacles would take place. Just something to ponder on. Good intentions, but it all goes right back to the same obstacles we all seem to encounter in many things here in Hudson. I need not say more.

  2. So the problem isn't dock space but dock usage. Move the Power Boat's floating fence and let Navigators flow through.