Falls of Clyde, Honolulu (2005)

Photos: Courtesy of Rae Huo

Update: 2016

Article Written By: Katrina Valcourt, HONOLULU Magzine

In June, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Harbors Division revoked the Falls of Clyde’s permit to moor in Pier 7, where it has sat free of charge for seven years, citing safety and security concerns. (The DOT planned to revoke the permit in 2015, but granted owners The Friends of Falls of Clyde more time to raise funds for dry docking and restoration. DOT says, in the past year, the Friends raised less than $3,000 and did not receive any of the grants for which they applied.) The Friends were given 30 days to move the ship and, when that was not possible, the DOT impounded it. The Friends say the ship is safe and shouldn’t have to move, nor do they have the funds to relocate it. “We as a board have made it really clear: Our mission has been, from the get-go, to save the ship,” says Chris Woolaway, vice president of the Friends. She says the group is currently talking with attorneys, historic preservation experts and others interested in preserving the national landmark to see what can be done. An administrative hearing in August determined that the impoundment was justified, so the Friends are now considering further legal action.

Update: 2010, The Falls of Clyde Stays Afloat

For more information regarding progress of the restoration visit: https://sites.google.com/a/friendsoffallsofclyde.org/test3/home

The Friends of Falls Of Clyde, Inc. (FoFOC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, acquired ownership and stewardship of the four-masted, iron-hulled sailing ship Falls of Clyde on September 30, 2008.

FoFOC stated that, “the ability of FoFOC to rescue the ship from imminent destruction has been applauded by historic ship preservationists throughout the world. Every expert in historic ship preservation and restoration and experts in iron-hull ship analysis have stated that Falls of Clyde is a maritime artifact that can and should be preserved and restored. Historic ships in much worse physical condition than Falls have been successfully restored in the U.S. and many other countries.”

In September 2010, the challenges and goals of FoFOC were the topic of a panel presentation at the 9th Maritime Heritage Conference. FoFOC was proud to announce that an important funding source had finally been transferred to it and that there was a steady schedule of pre-drydocking work going on.  FoFOC is actively seeking grants and other funds for the much-needed drydock and will kick off a major capital campaign for the drydock.

In the 2009 legislative session, S.C.R. 138 was passed which, in part, stated: “Falls of Clyde is recognized as a historic symbol of Hawaii; and…should always be treasured and protected by the State of Hawaii and its residents.” FoFOC believes that this resolution clearly and accurately reflects the value of Falls of Clyde to the people of Hawai`i and they intend to develop a compelling story to broaden community support.


Friends of Falls of Clyde continue to raise funds for the preservation of Falls of Clyde. For more information on these projects check out their website: http://www.friendsoffallsofclyde.org/


Article Written By: A. Kam Napier, HONOLULU Magazine

What is it?

If you only know it as “that old ship by Aloha Tower”, you should talk a closer look. The 127 year-old Falls of Clyde is the last surviving member of the original Matson fleet that serviced Hawai’i, and is the world’s only surviving full-rigged, four-masted sailing ship, among other distinctions. “The ship really belongs in Honolulu, it has so many ties to Hawai’i”, says Bob Krauss, The Honolulu Advertiser columnist who originally led the effort to bring the ship home from the Mainland in 1963. (“And I’ve been stuck with her ever since!” he says with a laugh.)

What threatens it?

Falls of Clyde is now owned and run by the Hawai’i Maritime Center, along with the Hōkūleʻa. Since the 1960s, most fund-raising went towards eliminating the debt surrounding the ship, leaving maintenance neglected. “For too long,:” says Krauss. “A ship is like a house, only more so. If it’s not kept in repair, it deteriorates and in salt water, that’s accelerated. So we’re really up against it now. It won’t skink tomorrow or next week, but in a few years we’re going to hit a critical stage.

What can be done?

Krauss reports that the old debts have been settled, and the Hawai’I Maritime Center itself is in good financial shape and in a great relationship with the Bishop Museum, the ship’s previous owner. A $600,000 private-public grant is helping to stabilize the ship’s condition, but is not a permanent solution, however, and considerably more funds will be needed. “It really should be dry-docked for some competent shipyard work,” Krauss says. Honolulu, your ship has come in – and it needs your help. Call HMC at 523-6151.

2017-04-21T01:01:41+00:00 March 3rd, 2014|Categories: MES Oahu|Tags: , |