The historic ship Falls of Clyde, long a fixture of the Honolulu waterfront, is awaiting a miracle. The ship, the world’s only surviving four-masted, full-rigged ship and the only surviving sailing oil tanker afloat, has been impounded by the Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division. The ship has been berthed in Honolulu Harbor for the past seven years, but 2015 brought new urgency. The state announced plans to terminate the permit that allowed the Falls to be docked for free in its present location. Friends of the Falls of Clyde, the group that formed in 2008 to take ownership of the ship when the Bishop Museum announced that it would be unable to meet the daunting price tag of further maintenance and restoration work, stepped up its fundraising efforts, including initiating an Indiegogo campaign, which was unable to raise sufficient funds to get the ship into drydock that season.
This summer, the state gave the group the month of July to present a plan for getting the ship into drydock for restoration work; however, the plan was subsequently rejected, and the state revoked the dock permit, leading to the impound action, when access to the ship was closed off. A hearing followed on 25 August, when Friends of the Falls of Clyde appealed the state’s position and asked, again, to be allowed to work on the ship and resume fundraising efforts. The state’s decision is expected later this month.
We encourage all who are interested and want to lend their support to go to the website of the Friend of the Falls of Clyde, as well as its Facebook page, and the petition to save the ship. Learn more about her history here.