New rigging to dress up the Edna GA big year is in store for the Edna G.! Many different repairs, such as the replacement of rotting wood and hull welding have already been done, but there’s more to come for Two Harbors’ grand dame.
By: Claire Hoffert, Lake County News Chronicle
A big year is in store for the Edna G.! Many different repairs, such as the replacement of rotting wood and hull welding have already been done, but there’s more to come for Two Harbors’ grand dame.
On Tuesday, Sea Service, a Superior, Wisconsin-based company, installed new mooring lines on the Edna G. According to Ed Montgomery, from Sea Service, the tug will have six hundred feet of new, two- inch nylon line, which he said is “durable with a little bit of stretch.” Marlin spikes, used by sailors for many years, are used to install the lines. The rigging had not been redone for about twenty five years, but the replacement was recently recommended by the Edna G. Commission.
Mel Sando, the Executive Director of the Lake County Historical Society, said that the new mooring lines and installation will cost over $5,000, which represents just a portion of the expected cost of repairs and updates.
“We have new life awakened in us,” Sando said, expecting that the Edna G. Commission will spend around $50,000 this year on boat assessment and maintenance projects. The most expensive single cost is a hull survey which took place Wednesday. Divers came and examined the underside of the boat using sonar.
“The hull survey will tell us whether or not we need to be concerned about pulling the boat out of the water,” Sando said. “It will tell us how to best preserve the boat.” Sando said that pulling the boat out of the water and making a place for her on land could result in tug tours turning a profit in years to come.
“We could triple the volume of visitors,” Sando said. “It’s very difficult to get people to get down to the dock.” Currently, Sando added, the Edna G. loses money and the city reimburses the Historical Society through a fund for the boat. The fund, which has been financed through a lodging tax passed by the Minnesota Legislature, doesn’t rely on local taxpayers, but on those who stay at motels and inns in the city.
According to Sando, the gap between the costs associated with maintaining the boat and revenues generated by selling boat tours would close considerably with the boat on land. More visitors and locals would be more likely to go on a tour.
“It’s surprising how many local people haven’t been on the G,” said Sando.
The Edna G. is open seven days a week, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday- Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.