The Present Western Flyer
The Western Flyer Foundation is working with the Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-Op to restore the Western Flyer vessel’s upper decks and house to the original 1940s condition. Below deck, a state-of-the-art marine laboratory is being built as a platform from which children can learn about marine sciences, sustainable fisheries, and American literature. This thorough restoration and build-out includes replacing the original 165 horsepower, 4 ton Atlas diesel engine with a modern “green” electric propulsion system providing up to 670 horsepower and weighing less than 374 lbs.
Currently, the Western Flyer Foundation is building collaborative partnerships with organizations and individuals interested in the goals of the foundation. An in-depth effort is underway that engages the public on local, national and global levels, allowing fans to view the restoration on-site, and to follow the progress through social media, local events and the press. A current capital campaign is aimed at obtaining resources and raising the funds needed to finish the vessel’s restoration and full laboratory build-out. A committee of highly qualified teachers, scholars, scientists and engineers is designing curriculum specializing in American literature, marine biology, and maritime history. The Western Flyer vessel is being registered for National Landmark status.
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