109-YEAR-OLD BOAT RE­SUMES CRUISES OF MYS­TIC RIVER

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

A 109-year-old coal-fired steam­boat re­turned to cruis­ing the Mys­tic River af­ter a more than twoyear restora­tion project.

The Sabino, billed by Con­necti­cut’s Mys­tic Sea­port mar­itime mu­seum as the na­tion’s old­est coal-fired steam­boat in reg­u­lar op­er­a­tion, re­sumed pub­lic cruises Wed­nes­day from the mar­itime mu­seum.

The 57-foot steam­boat, which was des­ig­nated a na­tional his­toric land­mark in 1992, was built in 1908 in East Booth­bay, Maine, and spent most of its ca­reer fer­ry­ing pas­sen­gers and cargo be­tween the main­land and is­lands off Maine’s coast.

The mar­itime mu­seum bought and re­stored the wooden-hulled ves­sel in 1973, and has used it as a work­ing ex­hibit since then, pro­vid­ing daily tourist cruises up and down the river dur­ing the sum­mer and early fall.

“To feel the moist heat on your face as you are ap­proach­ing the en­gine, to smell the coal fire and feel the rel­a­tively quiet smooth op­er­a­tion of the orig­i­nal steam en­gine is ex­cit­ing,” said Quentin Snediker, the di­rec­tor of the mu­seum’s preser­va­tion ship­yard. “You’re mov­ing a ves­sel that weighs 50 tons, just with heat and wa­ter. It’s quite a sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The more than $1.1 mil­lion restora­tion was paid for with pub­lic and pri­vate grant money, in­clud­ing $172,125 from the Con­necti­cut State His­toric Preser­va­tion Of­fice, $149,318 from the In­sti­tute of Mu­seum and Li­brary Ser­vices and a Na­tional Mar­itime Her­itage Grant of $199,806.

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