Champlain Maritime Launches New Boat, Season

Months of planning and work in the boat shop at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum go public on Thursday May 20th with the launch of newly built 32’ rowing gig Harvest Moon. Seven students and three staff members from the Diversified Occupations Program at The Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury worked full time for five months this winter with museum staff and volunteers to build this magnificent boat. Harvest Moon will join LCMM’s fleet of ten other student-built rowing gigs serving over 500 youth in team rowing activities throughout the year.

The museum opened its doors for the 2010 season on Saturday May 22 with a bang – literally – hosting its second annual “Hammer-In,” an event for regional blacksmiths. Experienced and beginning blacksmiths gathered at LCMM’s new Rinehart Blacksmithing Arts Center to exchange information and expand their knowledge and skill. The museum offers additional blacksmithing courses for adults and teens during the summer.

Museum visitors of all ages are welcome to tour the museum grounds to visit the eighteenth century style forge and discover examples of ironwork on board replica 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II and schooner Lois McClure, beginning the season in port at the museum’s North Harbor.

The Hammer-In was chosen as a State of Craft Showcase event, celebrating Vermont’s craft traditions. The State of Craft is a multi-year collaborative initiative of the Vermont Crafts Council, the Bennington Museum, the Vermont Folklife Center, and the Vermont Division for Tourism and Marketing to document, preserve, and interpret the history of the contemporary crafts movement in Vermont.

From May 22 through May 31, the museum is offering an early season discount, two-for-one general admission. Museum members receive free admission throughout the year. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, located seven scenic miles from historic downtown Vergennes, is open daily from 10 – 5. Find more information on museum events, programs and exhibits at www.lcmm.org.

Photo: Student boatbuilders work on 32’ rowing gig with instructor Lianna Tennal at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s boat shop.

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