The travelift prepares to move the Half Moon from its month-long perch alongside the Hudson River.

In the beginning of March 2009, the Replica Ship Half Moon took its first voyage of the year -- though we can't in good conscience consider that the start of its operating season, since the ship never touched the icy water!

Half Moon crew work on the ship's masts, now lying horizontal in the workshop.

As part of our final preparations for New York's 2009 Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration, the Half Moon spent the winter high and dry inside a massive workshop at Scaranos Boat Builders at the Port of Albany, undergoing extensive construction to extend its already lengthy lifespan. This marked a number of firsts in the ship's 20-year history; it's the first time the Replica Ship Half Moon has wintered out of the water and the first time it's ever been inside a building.

The ship's new transmission, donated by Peckham Materials.

This haulout was a major effort; physical improvements made to the Half Moon included inspecting the masts, renewing the rig, rebuilding the forecastle, improving the engine room, installing a new transmission, and rebuilding the reduction gear. These were major efforts, but are all now nearing completion.

The Half Moon emerges from the workshop on a travelift.
March 5: Half Moon emerges from workshop.
The Half Moon trundles along the riverbank on a travelift.
March 27: Half Moon carried to boat launch.
The travelift backs the Half Moon out over a boat launch.
March 27: Travelift positions ship over launch.
The Half Moon is lowered into the water.
March 27: The Half Moon is lowered into the water.

On March 5, the Half Moon once again emerged into daylight, looking a bit like a bear emerging from hibernation. Once the river's ice had thawed, it was time to return the Half Moon to the Hudson. On March 27th, Half Moon volunteers and the Scaranos crew delicately settled the ship back into the water.

But really, we should let the pictures speak for themselves. Mouse over the images to the right to chart the ship's progress across the shipyard. These are large images, so give them time to load.

You can also view videos, stories, and photos courtesy of our local newspapers (external links):

Albany Times Union
Fred LeBrun aboard the Half Moon.
Currents of history. Fred LeBrun story and Paul Bukowski photos.
400 years: A grand perspective. Paul Grondahl story.

Troy Record
Half Moon replica ship leaves the Scarano Boat Building yards. Mike McMahon video.

In the week following the ship's return to the river, the Half Moon crew will return the masts to their positions. On April 4th-5th, the Half Moon will officially launch its Quadricentennial season with a shakedown voyage to Peckham Materials in Athens, NY. Once in Athens, we will be able to more flexibly accomodate interested volunteers for a few additional weeks of maintenance and physical improvements.

The Half Moon will remain dockside at Peckham Materials through mid-May.
While there, volunteers of all skill levels are needed to help with work on
the ship. This work will continue weekdays and most weekends. If you can
help, please contact Karen Preston at It is not possible to
just walk up, as entry must be arranged ahead of time.


The mastless Half Moon safely docked in the boat launch.

Special thanks are due to key donors whose contributions have made this possible:

* Dr. Andrew and Mary Hendricks, and the Hendricks Family Foundation
* John and Amy Peckham, Peckham Family Foundation, and Peckham Industries
* New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
* Robert E. and Lori S. Liebert Van Vranken