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Kodiak's Thelma C prepared for new home

Posted: May 26, 2013 - 12:12am

KODIAK — After more than a year of restoration, the Kodiak Maritime Museum’s Thelma C is ready for its new home on the Kodiak waterfront.

On Saturday, volunteers finished cleaning the Thelma C restoration site at Kodiak College, preparing the wooden fishing boat for storage until construction is finished on a permanent display stand downtown.

“We’re buttoning her up,” said Kodiak Maritime Museum executive director Toby Sullivan. “We’re going to shrink wrap the whole boat with this hard plastic shell stuff and then we’re going to take the building down.”

The yearlong restoration project included replacing all the wooden seiner’s rotten planks, rebuilding the wheelhouse and painting the outside.

Sullivan said everything went to plan and nothing was damaged during the winter, while it was stored at Kodiak College.

“Everything was great,” he said. “Kodiak College let us store this boat here for a year and a half. That was a big deal.”

The museum isn’t sure where the boat will be stored, but Sullivan said there are a few spots being considered. The Thelma C is expected to move to the new location within the next two weeks.

Now that the boat is restored, the next part of the project is to begin construction at a site adjacent to Oscar’s Dock where the vessel will be installed permanently.

The museum plans to excavate the bank between Oscar’s Dock and the green navigation buoy, put in a concrete pad a few feet above sea level, and install a retaining wall. The Thelma C will be moved into place, then the museum will build a roof over it.

“All of this is step by step, and some of it is funding-dependent,” Sullivan said.

If all goes to plan, the Kodiak Maritime Museum hopes to have the Thelma C in its place at St. Paul Harbor by the end of 2013, and the exhibit to be completed by early 2014.

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