Guild President Eric Lorgus announced long-awaited plans to get Gazela into dry dock for inspection and repairs:
I have great news. We finally have a dry dock for Gazela, and even better, it’s right here in Philadelphia. There will be room for Poplar, too.
Gazela at Caddell’s Shipyard, Staten Island, in 1986
Sometime After May 1st Rhoads Industries, the operators of Dry Dock #2 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, have offered to dry dock both Gazela and our work barge, Poplar, for two to four weeks, beginning any time after May 1st. There are still details to be worked out, so no exact start date has been set.This will be a short haul to perform inspection and maintenance on Gazela, as well as making repairs to the damaged and missing copper sheathing that was discovered two years ago during an underwater survey. It will also be used to plan the structural repair work needed for Gazela’s hull, the so-called Phase One and Two plan. We have budgeted $11,000 for repairs and coatings for Poplar. We really don’t know how much work is needed since she has not been out of the water since 1992. It is short notice, but that can’t be helped. We have been seeking a dry dock for almost two years. Rhoads has made a very attractive offer, and we will be sharing the dock with two other vessels. Two of our captains strongly urged the board not to miss this opportunity, and last night the board approved the plan. We will be needing the help of volunteers on the day of docking, as well as when the yard work begins. Funding Funding for Gazela will be from the Gazela Primeiro Preservation Fund, which was established by Mary Smith, in memory of her late husband, William Wikoff Smith. Funding for Poplar will come from a fundraising campaign that will be launched soon. If you would like to be the first to make a donation, please click here . Fair Winds, Eric Lorgus President