Those who have missed seeing the skipjack Nathan of Dorchester in her usual berth at Long Wharf in Cambridgecan now welcome her back home. For the past month, the vessel has been docked at Generation III marina for post-season maintenance.
Residents and visitors will also miss her usual holiday lights adding to the waterfront display in Cambridge this year. Her extended stay at Generation III prevented volunteers from decorating the skipjack in time for the holidays.
Nathan’s mast was removed for the first time since she was launched in 1994. This significant operation was performed in order to add a metal collar where the cables attach to prevent long-term wear problems. The coins, traditionally placed beneath the mast base by the ship builders, were cleaned and replaced. Generation III also removed the bowsprit to allow maintenance work to be done.
While the mast was accessible, volunteers took the opportunity to mount a traditional gold ball on top. The gold ball is a symbol that the vessel is owned free and clear of any liens. The Dorchester Skipjack Committee is the nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that owns Nathan.
The organization welcomes new volunteers year round. Administrative help is currently needed with scheduling and marketing. Sail crew, including licensed captains, are being recruited for the 2009 season. Crew volunteers need no prior experience, as extensive training is provided.
For more information, to charter the boat or to volunteer, contact the Dorchester Skipjack Committee at 410-228-7141 or visit its website, www.skipjack-nathan.org.