The ship’s iron hull sustained major damage during Hurricane Ike in 2008 and has been in dry dock at a shipyard in Texas City since last September. Dwayne Jones is the executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation and says the ship was in better shape than they thought.
“The interesting thing we found was that the iron that was used for Elissa in 1877 was extremely high quality and the quality of that and the quality of the riveting that was used to construct her at that same time was so good that it actually prevented some things from having to be replaced. They could just be slightly repaired.”
Elissa is expected to return to her berth at Pier 22 in Galveston at about 1 pm tomorrow.
“Anyone is welcome to come visit in the late afternoon. We can’t go on-board her yet because she won’t have a Coast Guard permit for an attraction vessel, but you can visit our new site, which has been repaired since she’s been gone as well and you can see her and we visit and talk about what the restoration was on her.”
Jones says Elissa will now get a new wooden deck and new sails and rigging.
The restoration is costing over $3 million dollars, but the ship should be ready to carry passengers again later this year. Elissa is one of only three ships of her kind in the world still sailing.