At the time of writing it is mid-March 2018, and by now the Endeavour replica should have been in a dry dock being refurbished, prior to her move to Whitby. However, friends in Stockton tell me that the vessel is still at her berth on the River Tees, at Stockton following her sale in August 2017.1
Work on removing the rigging and yards began in early February, but was held up for a while due to snow and freezing conditions. By early March, most of the rigging and the yards had been removed. The next stage is to lift out the three steel masts. They have been in place for 25 years, and there is a slight chance that they may have rusted in place. If that proves to be the case, the masts will be cut away at the base, and they will be replaced in the subsequent refurbishment.
Once the masts have been removed, the hull will be ready to lift out of the water. This work will be undertaken by two enormous cranes, which are powerful enough to lift the anticipated weight of over 200 tons. The hull will be placed on a low-loader vehicle, and driven to Middlesbrough, where she will be lifted back into the river. The spectacle of seeing the ship travelling to Middlesbrough by road is eagerly anticipated by many Teessiders. The move is expected to take place on a Sunday, when road traffic will be at its lightest. But at the moment, nobody seems to know when this transfer will take place.
Thanks to Ian Stubbs and John Hewitt (of Hewitt’s Crane Hire) for information contained in this article. Sincere thanks to Aimz Photography for allowing the reproduction of their images of Endeavour.
In early February 2018, work started on dismantling Endeavour’s rigging and removing the yards.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 33, volume 41, number 2 (2018).
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