Salvaged Schooner flies to new home at the Children’s Museum
After a short voyage the “Megan D” has docked for good at the Hands on Children’s Museum.
A truck delivered the Megan D just outside the museum on Marine Drive Wednesday morning, where a giant Snell crane lifted the schooner to its final destination, a spot in the museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center.
“It’s so much fun, it’s an awesome feeling that it’s here,” said Executive Director of the Hands on Children’s Museum Patty Belmonte.
The boat completes the museum’s Puget Sound Beach exhibit. Originally the museum wanted a tug boat, but thought bigger when visitors asked for exhibits that could incorporate climbing and exploring. The owner of the Megan D offered the museum the schooner, and former museum board president and owner of FORMA Construction Drew Philips and a crew of volunteer carpenters stepped up to restore it.
When renovations are complete, the Megan D will teach kids about schooners that carried fish and lumber along the west coast.
“It fits in its place better than I thought it ever would,” said Phillips. “I’m just really happy.”
Now that the schooner is in place, Phillips and a team of volunteer carpenters will add safety rails and ramps, repaint the boat, and add educational signage. The team will also restore the rigging, add a crows nest, sails,
The museum plans to open the exhibit in August. No specific date is set at the moment because the project depends on the work of volunteers. There will be a celebration for kids and their families, and an adults-only event at the Summer Splash Gala on Aug. 23, where the boat will be christened.
Belmonte believes the schooner is representative of the community’s support for the museum as a whole.
“What I love to say is that the fingerprints of the entire community are on this building and on these exhibits and the Megan D is just another example in a long legacy of community projects, and we love it. It’s exactly how we like to do things.”
So far volunteers have put in over 1,500 hours to this project, with many more to be contributed over the coming months.