When we wrote to you in April, we outlined a pretty ambitious plan for 2016 with a rather daunting list of things we wanted to get done. While it would probably be considered poetic license to insinuate that we checked all the boxes, the reality is that, thanks to your support, we've made incredible progress toward becoming a more robust, creative and agile museum.
It's still a museum that needs your help, though, and even more than ever. Your donation makes it possible for us to invest in the collection, our exhibits, our educational offering and the other revenue-generating assets we have so that we can continue the journey to becoming a world-class self-sustaining organization.
Here's what your investment will help us do:
Improve the maintenance of our boats by expanding our partnerships with like-minded schools and organizations. We've been working with IYRS to provide after-hours hands-on opportunities for 2nd year students as well as a chance to defray school expenses, and we've applied for grants to help support a "boat shop mentorship" program for high-school students.
Create new exhibits like the new Timeline Wall and the fledgling Herreshoff Steam exhibit. To build out the steam exhibit, a team of volunteers will replicate the entire steam system of a 22' steam launch so that visitors can get an up-close look at how power boats were propelled in the 19th century and how the Herreshoff Mfg Company got its start.
Develop an experiential STEM-based learning program for middle and high-school students. The act of sailing a boat upwind is all physics: pressure differential, fluid dynamics, mechanical advantage and vectors are all concepts that can be taught in a classroom and then experienced on the water. When integrated with US Sailing's Reach curriculum and museum exhibits telling stories about engineering, we can offer a STEM learning experience unlike any other.
One significant aspect of the museum that is a tangible example of your generosity is the 1/6th-scale model of RELIANCE (HMCo #605) which is now on display in the Hall of Boats. The mainmast is up, much of rigging has been reeved through the blocks and she is sporting a flying jib and staysail courtesy of Steve Thurston and the folks at the Quantum loft. She can't be fully "fledged", however, until we find a space with 40' of ceiling height. It turns out that this actually exists on our campus, and you'll be hearing more about the plan to dramatically expand our exhibit space in 2017.
As much as we need funding for major projects, we need funding for the everyday things as well such as new flags (it blows 20 here every day), new lights for our sign and new tubes for our sailing school safety vessels. Our goal for this year-end appeal is to raise $100,000 by December 31. Please help us achieve that goal. Every dollar matters, and we hope we can count you among our supporters this fall.
We ask and thank you for your generous support.
Bill Lynn, Executive Director
Elisabeth Lavers, Development Director