The restoration of the SS William A. Irvin will commence as the vessel heads into dry dock on Thursday, according to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC), which manages the attraction. The final contract for restoration includes blasting and coating the coating of the hull around the waterline plus blasting and coating the hatch crane.
Fraser Shipyards in Superior estimates the restoration will be completed in four to seven weeks.
A specific timeline for the Irvin to return to the Minnesota Slip is not yet determined. The ship will be evaluated once in dry dock, and a stronger timeline is expected to be available at that time. Weather conditions will also play a role in the ship’s return, the DECC said in a news release.
Due to numerous variables affecting its return date, Irvin historical tours and the Haunted Ship will not be open to the public in 2019.
In conjunction with the repair of the seawall, the Irvin had to be moved from the Minnesota Slip to allow the remediation of sediment that had contaminated the slip beneath the water’s surface. The museum will undergo exterior repair of its hull for the first time in over 30 years.
Funding for Irvin repairs is provided by the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant Agreement with an additional match by the DECC. Since July 13, 1989, the SS William A. Irvin has been included on the National Registrar of Historical Places.