On a recent trip to Newport we stumbled across this outstanding, and interesting, attraction. Essentially this is a working, endangered-skills training school, training students in the art of yacht restoration. In addition, their campus (i.e. working workshop/yacht shed) is freely open to the public for a look see, where one can view on-going work on a number of projects. Many classic wooden yachts in evidence, and their must-see flagship restoration project - the Coronet.
The Coronet is a large (131-foot) schooner famous for winning a $10,000 challenge transatlantic race. Further, she circumnavigated the globe in 1888 and became the first yacht to round Cape Horn from East to West. For many years she was moored in Portland, Maine and took part in US Bicentennial celebrations. She now belongs to the IYRS school/museum and is undergoing a long term (i.e. >10 yr), full restoration. The story boards and exhibition are full of interesting tidbits of history and anecdotes and make for a wonderful and nostalgic trip down the maritime historical road. The collection of original saloon fixtures and fittings is strewn topsides and alongsides (so to speak), in line for restoration, including the original piano! Also, many of the original yacht fittings, rigging etc.
This is a wonderful visit for anyone wanting to experience old world boat building and restoration, with many of the original woodworking and boat building skills in evidence, although many now undertaken with the advantage of modern tools where it makes sense to do so. I get the feeling this could be a special visit for grandparents and grandchildren. Probably good to allow up to an hour - but could be done in half easily. The IYRS is located towards the one (non downtown) end of Thames street, but it's within walking distance of the main Newport Thames street vibe and attractions.
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