Falls of Clyde Ordered to Leave Honolulu Harbor

Sad, if not surprising news. The Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division (HDOT Harbors) has ordered that the 138-year-old sailing ship Falls of Clyde be removed from Honolulu harbor. Previously, in a letter dated June 15th, the Harbor Division had given the Friends of the Falls of Clyde, the current owners of the ship, 30 days to remove it from Pier 7 in Honolulu harbor, where the ship has been berthed, free of charge, for the last seven years. In the letter, the Harbors Division cited safety concerns. “The condition of the Falls of Clyde poses an unacceptable risk to navigation in Honolulu Harbor and a safety and security risk to harbor users.

In early August, the Friends of Falls of Clyde submitted a plan that outlines what could be done with the ship. The Harbors Division agreed to review the plan, which called for an additional year to raise funds to move to the ships for repairs. The State, however, has said that “a plan that requests additional time to seek more funding is not acceptable.”

Hawaii News Now quotes Bruce McEwan, president of Friends of Falls of Clyde, saying, “We’ve already been Harbors (Division) on notice that if they’re going to stick with the impoundment that we have property aboard the ship that isn’t going to go down with the ship or isn’t going to go with a new owner.”

Falls of Clyde is the last four-masted full-rigged iron ship and the only surviving sailing oil tanker. The ship was launched in 1878 in Port Glasgow, Scotland, for the Fall Line.  She became a museum ship in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1971, but was never  properly maintained.  In 2008, the Bishop Museum, which had control of the ship, was preparing to tow her out sea and scuttle her. In September 2008, the Friends of Falls of Clyde, a non-profit group of volunteers, acquired the ship. Despite attempts to raise funds over the last seven years, the group has not to succeeded in arranging to drydock or to begin significant repairs to the long-neglected historic ship, which has continued to deteriorate.

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5 Responses to Falls of Clyde Ordered to Leave Honolulu Harbor

  1. Chris Roche says:

    It is a blood disgrace that `Falls of Clyde’ and her supporters are in this position. It can only be hoped that sanity prevails, you cannot bottle common sense. While this ship is not the last of her kind a four-masted ship (that is four masts square rigged on each for the uninitiated) does exist at Punta Arenas `County of Peebles’ although standing her lower masts just as `Falls of Clyde’ does she in in a sunken state as a breakwater with serious deformity of her keel I saw and photographed her on the 22nd December 2015 both inside and out. `Falls of Clyde’ is crucial to tell the oil tanker part of the story, she is quite rightly the only remaining sailing oil tanker true Matson converted her to that role she is unique. Only an idiot would contemplate destroying a one of a kind. For the sake of all that is holy wake up Honolulu wake up. Where the hell do you remove 1800 tons of ship to without funds. Bishop Museum should be ashamed of their part in this sorry affair. http://www.capehorners.org

  2. Irwin Bryan says:

    Any way you can send this article to all the wonderful shipyards that have been featured by you in the hopes of getting them involved?

  3. Good Day:

    I, Find it hard to believe that, The Hawaii Dept of Transportation Harbor Division, (HDOT), Are Kicking Out A 138 Year Old Iron Built Sailing Ship: “FALLS OF CLYDE”, Knowing fair well they knew the previous condition of This Vessel built in Glascow, Scotland, and Allowed this Ship to Stay at Pier 7 Under Free Rent for A Further Seven, (7) years, and Not prompting The Previous Owners at the time: Bishop Museum, Then to Jump and do some think. Right now, as it stands, Fifty, (50%) Percent of the Blame Fall On (HDOT), & Fifty (50%) On Bishop Museum. To Make this right for both Parties it would Be to Hawaii Business Interest, and Political Minded People, Who made this Stupid Decision to move this Iron built ship into a Drydock Their, To cover Entire Cost of Bringing This “FALLS OF CLYDE”, Up to Sailing Condition & Putting This Historical Vessel Under Hawaii State Ownership, Since It would be A Win/Win for Both side, and Hawaii Long Term Vacation Spot!

  4. Erik Abranson says:

    In terms of US maritime heritage, FALLS OF CLYDE is the third most important historic sailing ship in existence, only behind the frigate USS CONSTITUTION and the whale ship CHARLES W. MORGAN. She is also in the top league internationally. It would be unconscionable to allow such a vessel to be scuttled or broken up, even more so that she in a far better condition than were many museum ships prior to their restoration, indeed than she was when she returned to Hawaii for restoration.
    Erik C. Abranson, former World Ship Trust trustee