Hello friends! Over this past 2013 season (which happened to be our 25th Anniversary Season), we have been lucky to have had so many great supporters of everything we did. Whether that be joining any of our many diverse and fun cruises and events, partnering with us on a project, helping us get the word out, or simply by donating. It is because of these great people that we were able to have one of the best and most successful seasons ever! Who can also forget our wonderful staff and board of directors who were there making things happen!
With that, we bring you a new Blog Series called “Winter Musings”, a weekly blog where we will talk about what is happening over the winter with the Pride and also the Riverboat Society as we get ready and prepare for the 2014 season!
With that being said, the season has come to an end, with our final cruise on November 10, 2013 (a Wine & Cheese if you were wondering!) and the removal of the Pride from the cold waters of the Susquehanna by our wonderful friends at the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. They have been doing this service of launching and removing the Pride from the water for over 20 years, and it is because of them that we can even sail in the first place!
So, we thanks them wholeheartedly for not only their service to the Riverboat Society, but also to our Commonwealth and Nation. They truly are a great bunch of people!
Many boat owners know the funny expression of what “B.O.A.T” really means: Bring In Another Thousand! And that is incredibly true, especially with a 100 ton, 25 year old boat like ours. It is indeed a labor of love, and we have so many great people who help make this Harrisburg icon float, literally, each season. The hull and all metal surfaces are sanded and repainted, damage is repaired, things are replaced, and much, much more is done before being launched again in the spring. The U.S. Coast Guard even has to come inspect it, as well, so we can pass their stringent safety standards.
You may be asking yourself, “Why does the boat have to be removed from the water each year?” Well, believe us, it is a big task that we would rather not do, but it is actually very essential. Besides the fact that it is too cold in the Harrisburg, PA area to operate much after the middle of November until May, the boat needs to have many, many repairs done. We use the winter time to inspect the boat for hull or other damage (with our shallow river, sometimes small rocks or gravel bars get scraped with the hull and create scratches), and to refurbish items that need to be replaced (notably, this year, the 25 year old roof and also a restroom or 2).
Also, winter ice is a huge factor also why we take out the boat. The river occasionally floods or even freezes over, and our boat was not made to withstand this type of weather in the water. Thus, it being removed.
As of now, the boat has been pretty much stripped of its furnishings in preparation for workers to complete a plethora of things.
And I will bring you my “musings” on what is happening every week (hopefully!) and keep you up to date as time goes on!
Let’s Keep the Paddles Turning!
-Andrew Ponti, Executive Director