A Rockland-based organization that teaches maritime skills to young people got a new boat thanks to Manhattan boat builders.
The gift boat, a Whitehall Gig, is a model of the traditional 19th-century four-row boat used to transport ship captains from their moorings to shore, according to an account in a Manhattan neighborhood newspaper “Our Town” .
Manhattan’s organization, Village Community Boat House, offers free rowing from Pier 40 in Hudson River Park. In the winter, the boathouse stays open so its skilled boat builders can teach others the trade for free, according to Our Town. This year, the builders realized they had to make more room in the boathouse before they could build another boat. So they decided to donate a ship to worthy sailors.
Some people associated with the Village Community Boat House visited Rockland and were familiar with Station Maine, which teaches young people how to sail and row in Rockland Harbor. The Manhattan organization contacted Station Maine and agreed to donate the boat to the Rockland organization led by Muriel Curtis.
Ed Glaser of Rockland agreed to offer his services and bring the boat back to Rockland.
Village Community searched the internet and when its members realized that the volunteer driver was also the mayor of Rockland, they held an informal ceremony on December 19th. The group had tried to persuade the mayor of New York to attend, but was unsuccessful.
According to Our Town, Boathouse President Sally Curtis said, “We are like a family who must give a beloved pet. We wanted to be sure that it would be well maintained and used to help people, especially young people, get out on the water.
Curtis posted the 25-foot-long boat donation on Station Maine’s Facebook page.
“These are amazing, stable little boats that have been seen in New York Harbor for over a century. We are fortunate to have good neighbors to the south who think of us and offer us their support. We are also grateful to Ed Glaser for transporting GML (yes, that’s his name) from New York.
Station Maine teaches maritime techniques such as sailing and rowing at no cost to participants.
Glaser is a captain and served as Rockland harbor master for 12 years before being elected to city council.
The boat arrived in Rockland on December 20.
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