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Hope for "The Hope"

Norwalker looks to restore old LI Sound oyster sloop

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Norwalk, CT | Added on August 16, 2013 At 05:04 PM

Turns out there is hope for "The Hope."

The nearly 70-year-old, last wooden sail-powered oystering sloop in Long Island Sound has mostly sat outside the Maritime Aquarium over the last 25 years.  

But now a new owner wants to put the boat back in the water.

"I have memories growing up of the boat," says new owner Shenton King.  "Crawling around on the boat, sailing it."

That's because King's father was president of the Norwalk Seaport Association when it acquired the boat in 1981.  It was donated to the Aquarium in 1988 but was recently sold back to the Seaport Association.  King acquired the boat in May.

"The plan immediately was to save it," he says.  "This boat has always been a part of Norwalk's waterfront."

King intends to overhaul the boat back into working condition.

He says people say he's crazy, but sailing "is the best thing" for the boat.

Right now the Hope is getting a new coat of paint.  By next summer, King says it can be back on the Sound.  King says he could spend between $30,000 and $60,000 restoring the Hope by the end of 2014.

"It will be a family boat for myself and my friends and family," he says.  "But the boat will always be available to the Norwalk Seaport Association."

"It's Norwalk's boat.  It will always be Norwalk's boat."

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