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Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. launches COLUMBIA

Sep 3, 2014

On April 17, 1923, the original COLUMBIA was launched in Essex, Massachusetts. Ninety-one years later, an exact replica of the COLUMBIA (ESG Hull 981) was launched in Panama City, Florida.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. is pleased to announce the recent launch of the COLUMBIA, a steel hull replica of the historic Gloucester Fishing Schooner. The launching was held on August 23, 2014 at Eastern’s Nelson Street facility with employees, dignitaries and guests in attendance.

At the christening ceremony, Brian D’Isernia spoke about the journey of bringing the COLUMBIA back to life, the teamwork of the companies, and thanked the hard work of the men and women that made this dream possible. Steve Southerland, U.S. Representative of the 2nd District of Florida, spoke about the teamwork and dedication of putting together a vessel like the COLUMBIA. Father Roy Marien of Saint John’s Catholic Church of Panama City, Florida, performed the blessing of the vessel. Brian’s wife, Mimi D’Isernia had the honor of christening the COLUMBIA.

The original COLUMBIA was a 141’ classic Gloucester Fishing Schooner built at the historic A.D. Story shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts. Essex was the center for North American Fishing Schooner construction. Designed by the innovative William Starling Burgess, the COLUMBIA was bred for speed. In the fall of 1923, the COLUMBIA challenged the BLUENOSE, Canada’s legendary schooner in the International Fishermen's Cup Races in Halifax. Nearly winning the title, the COLUMBIA was narrowly defeated by the BLUENOSE and was one of the few American schooners to provide a challenge to BLUENOSE.

Tragedy struck the promising young COLUMBIA on August 24, 1927 near Sable Island, the notorious “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, where the COLUMBIA was lost with all hands in a gale.

Decades later, Brian D’Isernia, owner of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. in Panama City, Florida, discovered the original lines plan of the COLUMBIA in the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Massachusetts. He took the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of bringing a significant piece of maritime history back to life. Drawn by her proud history and her beauty, Brian began the journey of bringing the COLUMBIA back to life, and returning her to the glory she deserves.

Working with John W. Gilbert & Associates of Boston, Massachusetts, the design was re-engineered with a steel hull instead of wood. An engine room and staterooms were added to the design. Covey Island Boatworks of Lunenburg Nova Scotia built the rigging and spars. Blocks were fabricated by A. Dauphinee & Sons and all the sails were constructed by Michelle Stevens Sailloft, LTD, both from the Second Peninsula, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Teak decking was completed by Teakdecking Systems of Florida.

The COLUMBIA will continue to undergo outfitting and begin sailing trials this fall. The COLUMBIAwill also be exhibited at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show October 30th - November 3rd, 2014.

DESIGN DETAILS:

DIMENSIONS:
Length On Deck ............................................................... 141’-2”
Length @ Waterline........................................................110’-0”
Beam (Molded) ............................................................... 25’-6”
Hull & Superstructure Construction............................... Steel, ABS Grade A-36
Main Mast .........................One (1) 17” x 124’-10”, Covey Island Boatworks, Douglas Fir
Laminated Lower. Sitka Spruce Laminated Top Mast
Foremast ............................One (1) 17” x 115’-7”, Covey Island Boatworks, Douglas Fir
Laminated Lower. Sitka Spruce Laminated Top Mast

CERTIFICATES/REGULATORY:
Registry/Flag/Certificate of Documentation: United States of America

CONSTRUCTION GUIDANCE:
The vessels hull, superstructure and underwater gear are designed constructed and Classed in accordance with the LloydsRegistry Rules for Building and Classing Steel 3

“We got you Covered”

Eastern’s proven successful shipbuilding record stems from the fact that we are willing to accept any new challenge and are confident that we can successfully build and deliver any type of vessel that our Client’s require, both on time and on budget.

As Eastern moves into the future, we look forward to the continued diversification and growth of our portfolio of vessels which brings new challenges and ultimately grows the company. At Eastern, each employee starts and ends the day with the same goal in mind; work safe, work smart, and build the best vessel possible. Eastern currently has a total workforce of over 1,600 employees.

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