US Brig Niagara to spend more time in Erie in coming years, sail less

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The US Brig Niagara will sail to six ports of call in the Great Lakes this summer before returning home to Tall Ships Erie.

But a new strategy to make the ship more accessible to the public and to collaborate more with the Erie Maritime Museum in the coming years could shorten the ship’s sailing schedule.

Continued:US Brig Niagara returns to Erie after 2 months of maintenance, repairs in Cleveland

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and the Flagship Niagara League announced both the 2022 sailing schedule and a “new strategy” on how best to use the ship in years to come.

“With the Niagara, we want greater integration with Maritime Museum programs,” said Howard Pollman of the Pennsylvania Historic & Museum Commission. “They have often operated independently of each other and so, again, we are hoping for a closer alignment.”

Tall Ships Erie, a four-day festival that takes place once every three years, returns this summer from August 25-28. Brig Niagara will sail to other ports of call where Tall Ships Festivals take place this summer.

“But in years without tall ships, we would like to see visitors and residents see the brig in Erie,” Pollman said. “Because we’ll see it more in Erie, people can do more day sails and things like that than they normally could.”

That means fewer stops or shorter trips to ports of call for the Brig Niagara, the replica of Oliver Hazard Perry’s relief flagship during the Battle of Lake Erie, and more time in Erie.

Continued:Here’s why Erie’s Brig Niagara will undergo repairs, Coast Guard inspection in Cleveland

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission is the Commonwealth’s official historical agency. The Flagship Niagara League is a non-profit associate educational organization of the PHMC and has been chartered to facilitate public participation and the operation of the US Brig Niagara and the Erie Maritime Museum.

In the current fiscal year, PHMC has invested over $400,000 for repairs to Brig Niagara. He also spends $350,000 a year to support the Flagship Niagara League for the navigation and maintenance of the ship.

Able Seaman Pip Conner, 30, a crew member of US Brig Niagara, helps unload groceries from the ship December 15, 2021, after arriving in Erie from Cleveland, where he underwent two months of maintenance thorough.  Conner has been a crew member since 2009.

PHMC has also invested $400,000 for a new roof at the Erie Maritime Museum, $250,000 for the planned installation of flood gates and $250,000 for environmental controls upgrades in the collections storage area. of the museum.

In a joint press release this week, the groups said they are “committed to meaningful integration of the ship’s operations with those of the Erie Maritime Museum. This new strategy will bring greater accessibility for visitors to experience this important source of pride and identity for Erie.”

Continued:Flagship Niagara League Cancels Brig Niagara Sailing Season

Pollman said the strategy is just a framework at this point and more details will be determined in the coming months.

“The goal is to work more closely together, align more closely and, again, make the brig a real tourism asset for Erie,” he added.

U.S. Brig. Captain William Sabatini deferred comments on the new strategy to Flagship Niagara League Chairman of the Board Scott Nick, who did not respond to calls for comment.

The U.S. Brig Niagara fires its cannon during the Parade of Sail at the Tall Ships Erie Festival on August 22, 2019.

Brig Niagara will cruise the Great Lakes throughout the summer, hosting sail training programs and participating in Tall Ships Erie events. A detailed schedule of sailing and educational programming can be found at www.sailfnl.org.

Here is the 2022 navigation program:

  • July 2-4, Sandusky, Ohio
  • July 8-10, Cleveland, Ohio
  • July 15-17, Alpena, Michigan
  • August 5-7, Two Harbors, Minnesota
  • August 12-14, Marquette, Michigan
  • August 20-21, Put-In-Bay, Ohio
  • August 25-28, Tall Ships Erie

Contact Matthew Rink at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @ETNrink.

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