Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Astoria's Lightship Columbia Closer to Returning to N. Oregon Coast Moorings

Published 03/07/22 at 4:22 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Astoria's Lightship Columbia Closer to Returning to N. Oregon Coast Moorings

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Astoria, Oregon) – If you look at the above photo of an Oregon coast icon at Astoria, and you notice something is missing there these days – you're right. The Columbia River Maritime Museum (CRMM) does not have the famed Lightship Columbia gracing its moorings, and that's been the case since October, as the beautiful vessel and the also-iconic Large Navigational Buoy were whisked away this fall to undergo a good deal of refurbishing.

The good news is that they're coming back to their respective spots in the north Oregon coast harbor town shortly. Spring will be a good time for Astoria history buffs.

It was hoped that these examples of living history would be back before spring break, but museum marketing manager Caroline Wuebben said it's more likely later than that. The lightship is being refurbished at Diversified Marine, Inc. in Portland, and then will be shipped to Tongue Point on the Oregon coast where it will spend time getting a little more work done. Wuebben said she'd know more once it's reached Tongue Point.

“Realistically – I would think early May is when we will have her ready for the public again,” she said.


Courtesy CRMM: the lightship under repair in Portland

The lightship has been open to the public since 1980, after it was retired from service along the wild Columbia Bar and donated to the museum. For 28 years it rode out bone-crunching storms along what is called the Graveyard of the Pacific, assisting countless ships through the tidal melee and saving lives.

Time and tides have taken their toll on the vessel, however, and when a grant came through from Murdock Charitable Trust, State of Oregon lottery bonds proceeds, and a National Parks Service “Save Our National Treasures” grant, the $1.5 million project of restoration was born.

Curiously, the ship was pushed by another vessel – not towed. In the early morning hours of October 20, the Lightship Columbia Drydock Project got underway with the towboat Toni B. pushing her from behind up the Columbia to the Portland marine yards.


The buoy under repair at Astoria, courtesy CRMM

There, the ship was inspected, cleaned, sandblasted and received a new paint job and several repairs. The hull, superstructure, the decks, masts, fittings and rigging all went under the knife.

“While undergoing her face lift, the engine room and other areas below deck that have been closed to the public since 1979 will be restored and modified into new exhibit spaces,” the museum said back in the fall.

Part of the National Parks Service grant goes towards creating a new mooring and gangway for the museum so that the lightship can stay open during extreme tides.

Diversified Marine, Inc. has been a partner with the museum since 2009, offering repair, retrofit and construction of tugs, barges, and commercial steel vessels, ancillary services of drydocking, repowering and mechanical contracting. It also has a fleet of marine construction vessels to provide water-based construction and environmental services.

Most recently, the Lightship Columbia was back in the water at the reconstruction facilities in Portland. Final stages of blasting and top coating of the deck were underway, and by mid-March the final colors will be painted.

Just before it returns to the Oregon coast, the light buoy will be placed in front of where the ship resides. The buoy had suffered from significant rust and metal degradation over the years, so WCT Construction of Astoria was contracted to take care of that work, which is just about completed. 1792 Marine Dr, Astoria, Oregon. (503) 325-2323. Columbia River Maritime Museum.

Hotels in Astoria/Seaside - Where to eat - Astoria Maps and Virtual Tours


MORE PHOTOS BELOW






Booking.com


Astoria's Columbia River Maritime Museum

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....


Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oregon Coast's Sandboarding Pioneer to Lead Florence's Rhody Fest Parade
Lon Beale, founder of Sand Master Park, is parade marshal. Florence events

Washington Coast's Ocean Shores Hosts Glass Float Drop and Beachcombing Expo
March 2 and 3 at the Ocean Shores Convention Center. Washington coast events

5 Cool Insanely Cool Details of Depoe Bay on Central Oregon Coast
One little town - dozens of wowing attractions and distractions

Four Unique to Bizarre Aspects of One Chunk of Oregon Coast: Between Yachats ...
Weird steps, wondrous pathway, volcanic remnants. Geology

One Heckuva Oregon Coast Bargain: Florence Indoor Yard Sale on March 23
At Florence Events Center with 8,000 square feet of goodies. Florence events

Washington Coast Opens Razor Clamming Days in Some Areas, Releases Tentative ...
The digs are afternoon and evening low tides. Washington coast

March 7 - 10 Sees South Oregon Coast Clambake Music Fest Blow It Up in North ...
All four days are jam-packed with musical acts. Coos Bay events

N. Oregon Coast's Hug Point Has Its Ancient, Millions-of-Years-Old Secrets
Just a few short miles of Cannon Beach you'll bump into Hug Point. Geology, marine sciences, history


Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted