ROCKPORT, Maine — An 88-year-old schooner made its return to the water after 80,000 hours spent restoring it.
The Adventuress was relaunched at Marine Park on Saturday afternoon after three years spent restoring the schooner, which was built in Scotland in 1924.
The boat is an 83-foot schooner that was designed and built by William Fife. The Adventuress arrived at Rockport Marine in 2009. As many as 30 people worked on the boat at one time, said Rockport Marine Yard Manager Maria Simpson.
“Every part of this project has been custom,” she said. “It’s an amazing example of craftsmanship that you don’t see often anymore.”
Rockport Marine had its own metal workers, carpenters and riggers working on the schooner, she said. The boat was restored structurally with a new interior and rig. It also has been updated with modern navigation.
Simpson said an estimated 2,000 people showed up to watch the launch at Marine Park. So many people were interested in the launch that Rockport Marine’s website crashed on Saturday afternoon due to too many visitors.
Three hydraulic trucks were used in moving the boat across Goose River Bridge to Marine Park on Monday.
Simpson said the restoration work, which also included a new backbone, should last for another 88 years or longer.
“It’s a boat that has a very long history,” she said. “We fixed it up for hopefully many centuries more. To have the privilege to do this is very special.”
The Adventuress will be on view at the Fife Rendezvous in Castine on Wednesday, Aug. 1; the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta in Brooklin on Aug. 4; Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors Show in Rockland Aug. 10-12; The Opera House Cup in Nantucket, Mass., on Aug. 19 and the Newport International Boat Show in Newport, R.I., from Sept. 13-16.
“It’s one of our finest efforts that we’ve ever completed here and we’re working for an owner that really trusted us to carry out this work,” Simpson said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated one of the towns where the vessel will be on view. The schooner will be on view Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the Fife Rendezvous in Castine, not Camden.