Repairing the Adventure

Posted 11/27/2011 1:46:00 PM
If you’ve ever been to Charles Towne Landing Historic Site, you’re probably familiar with the 17th-century replica sailing vessel, The Adventure. This magnificent structure is docked at Charles Towne Landing where thousands of visitors each year step aboard for tours and interpretive programs.

Almost every week of the year, you’ll find this widely popular educational exhibit packed with students, families and other visitors. However, one week out of every year the Adventure is removed from Charles Towne Landing and makes its way from the Ashley River, around the battery and to the Wando River where necessary maintenance is performed.


Patrick Cook, the Director of History and Education at Charles Towne Landing, explains that as a result of sitting still in the water for long periods of time, the vessel is it’s subject to damage from parasites in the water, and needs to frequently be repainted as well. The Adventure was constructed with cedar, pine and oak wood making it highly susceptible to deterioration over long periods of time.

“There are sea worms that eat leftover wood,” said Cook. “They’re job is to clean it and make sure there is fresh water and clean soil and that the water ways don’t get jammed up. The problem with that is the sea worms, just like the termites, can’t tell the difference between a nice house and a nice boat, so they tend to eat wood even on wood boats.”

Once the wood has been inspected and repaired and a new layer of paint is put on The Adventure, it can make begin the day long journey back to the dock site at Charles Towne Landing. As you might imagine, moving a 50 ton vessel can be a bit tricky. A motorized crane system, called a travel lift, is able to securely lift and carry the vessel from the marine back into the Wando River where final preparations for the journey back to the dock are made.

Once the Wando reaches high tide, The Adventure can sail out, pass downtown Charleston, where it sticks out like a sore thumb among the modern day sailboats, and back to the creek on the Ashley River.

If you want to learn more about The Adventure, regularly scheduled and special educational and interpretive programs are held at Charles Towne Landing throughout the year. For more information about The Adventure and for details on programs, call 843-852-4200, email the park or visit the park website.