DULUTH — The William A. Irvin, Duluth’s floating museum ship, was moved into dry dock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior on Thursday morning, Aug. 1. The retired laker is expected to spend about the next four weeks undergoing repairs, causing one of Duluth’s most popular tourist attractions to miss a second season of operation.
The 611-foot-long vessel, a former member of the U.S. Steel Fleet, was forced to leave its long-held mooring at Minnesota Slip last summer to make way for crews that spent months shoring up failing seawalls and capping contaminated submerged sediments that accumulated over years of port operations.
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, which owns and operates the Irvin, decided to make use of its displacement as an opportunity to tackle some deferred maintenance.
The DECC will be deprived of about $500,000 in annual revenues while the Irvin is sidelined and received a $500,000 grant from the Minnesota Historical Society to cover the cost of the work.
The Irvin should be back in action and open to the public in plenty of time for the 2020 season, said Chelly Townsend, the DECC’s executive director.