Back on Dec. 15, the sloop Clearwater, stripped of its mast, boom, rudder and sails, arrived at the Kingston docks by barge, having been transferred onto the conveyance by giant slings and hydraulics at Scarano’s Boat Yard in Albany. After 30 winters in Saugerties, the sloop has now found a new home in Kingston, following the erection of a barn, officially called the Clearwater Homeport and Rondout Education Center, on the grounds of the Hudson River Maritime Museum in September. Still smelling of new wood, the barn and its historic charge — which remains dockside on the barge, covered in white shrink wrap — has brought a welcome hive of activity to an area of the city that is usually comatose during the winter.
Beth Deal, one of the boat’s two captains, said the winter crew of eight were enjoying the more spacious quarters of the new barn — which is also heated, unlike its predecessor in Saugerties. “The space is what we hoped for, and we’re figuring out how to best utilize it,” she said, noting Clearwater planned to introduce programming for the public next year, including an after-school boat building and carpentry program for middle and high school students.
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