ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Members of an Alaska community are working to restore an abandoned boat that has become a local landmark.
The boat known as The Nomad is getting a makeover from residents of Knik in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, KTUU-TV reported Sunday.
The abandoned boat was once owned by Joe Redington Sr., a mushing legend and founder of the Iditarod. It’s been decaying near the edge of the Knik Arm waterway since 1967.
Mike Mahoney took on the restoration project with Jack Shea and Lisa Redington, granddaughter of the owner.
“It’s a part of history, but it will wither away,” Mahoney said. “It will go away, and everybody will say, ‘Boy, somebody should have done something with that.'”
Redington said she was happy to see the community band together to preserve a piece of her family’s history.
“My grandparents used it to go to Flathorn and back here,” Redington said. “They had a homestead in Flathorn and a homestead here in Knik, so they would go back and forth.”
The goal is to complete the repairs and painting by the end of the summer. Community volunteers work on The Nomad several days a week, relying on donations to fund the restoration.
“We started out with a little jar at Knik Bar and Grill and it just built from there,” Mahoney said.
The fundraising efforts have included a spaghetti dinner and a silent auction, while the Knik-Fairview Community Council also contributed money.
“I’d say we’re into it about $4,000 right now, and that’s just all materials,” Mahoney said. “We’re donating all of our time, all our tools and equipment.”
The plan is not to make the ship look new but to keep it around a bit longer and make it safer for visitors.
“So many people go out there and take pictures, and they get on the boat and take graduation pictures and wedding pictures, and it’s really nice to see that,” Mahoney said. “I’m trying to make it as safe as I can because kids crawl around it all the time.”