Bishop Museum maneuvers to sell the Falls of Clyde
Officials are hopeful a deal can be reached despite insurance and dry-dock hurdles
A community group and the Bishop Museum are working out a possible sales agreement to transfer ownership of the deteriorating Falls of Clyde.
"Things are looking promising," said Timothy Johns, president and chief executive officer of the Bishop Museum.
Officials from owner Bishop Museum recently presented a tentative agreement to the Friends of Falls of Clyde, which wants to preserve and restore the 130-year-old vessel. Museum officials and members of the group are expected to continue discussions today.
A final agreement has yet to be reached, but Johns said he is optimistic.
The main issue for Bishop Museum officials is insurance. In the agreement, they estimated insurance for the ship at $5 million while docked at Honolulu Harbor's Pier 7. The $5 million came from an estimate provided by an insurance agent should the ship sink while dockside and how much it would cost to raise it, Johns said.
The group plans to make an offer for $2 million for the uninsured ship.
Bruce McEwan, president of the Friends of Falls of Clyde, said they are "cautiously optimistic."
The group had obtained commitment from Marisco Ltd., a marine and industrial service company based in Kalaeloa, to dry-dock the vessel. But Marisco does not have an opening in their dry-docking schedule until the end of November, according to President Alfred Anawati.
McEwan said they expect to have a firm timetable shortly on dry-docking the vessel.
The Friends of Falls of Clyde is still in the process of filing all necessary papers to become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. McEwan said they are still in the planning stages to organize a fundraising campaign and seek grants to preserve and restore the vessel. The group estimated preservation work to cost about $1 million to $2 million.
A Friends of Falls of Clyde Web site is in the works to solicit donations. Meanwhile, arrangements were made with the Matsunaga Charitable Foundation to accept donations on behalf of the Friends of Clyde to save the vessel, the only fully rigged four-masted ship in the world.