Raising the Phoenix

Our Mission

We are dedicated to salvaging and restoring the Phoenix of Hiroshima whose display and publicity will help provide education regarding environmental concerns and promote a green and peaceful future. The boat now belongs to a tax-exempt (501(C)3) corporation, The Phoenix of Hiroshima Project, Inc. which is raising money for her restoration.

Why we are raising the Phoenix

The Phoenix is a part of American and world history. She is a part of the history of the Cold War, the history of the peace movement (American, Japanese, and international), the history of the anti-nuclear movement, the history of wooden boats. The Phoenix was used as a peace and protest vessel and as the means of delivering humanitarian help to war-torn parts of the world. She takes her place alongside other boats used for this purpose, from Ernst Friedrich’s Pax Vobiscum in the 1920s and early 1930s to Greenpeace’s use of vessels today.

The Inspiration

The attempt of the Golden Rule to sail from Honolulu into the Pacific Proving Grounds in 1958 inspired the crew of the Phoenix, who had arrived in Honolulu just the day before, to take over their protest and finish it for them–inside the “forbidden zone.”

The crews of both boats lost touch with each other. Both boats were eventually sold, more than once. Then, 50 years later in 2010, by another amazing “coincidence,” both boats were found in northern California, just 225 miles from each other, in the same sad condition–mast less, stove in, abandoned and under water!

Since then, the Golden Rule has been totally restored, re-launched in 2015, and is sailing again for peace and a nuclear-free world. We hope you will help us make it possible for the Phoenix to follow her example once again.

This song, Phoenix and the Golden Rule, was written by Mike Stern for the re-launch of the Golden Rulehttp://www.mikesongs.net/Michael-Stern-Phoenix-and-the-Golden-Rule.html

How we are raising the Phoenix

TO DO:
First, ASAP, we have to get the boat on top of the water instead of under it. That involves:

1. Getting an appraisal of her current condition.   A DIVER HAS BEEN DOWN TWICE RECENTLY TO MINUTELY CHECK HER CONDITION. A COUPLE OF PLANKS ARE “POPPED,” THE BOW END IS A LITTLE MUSHY AND “PROBLEMATIC” BUT OTHERWISE THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE SHE CAN BE RAISED INTACT.

2. Getting her raised and towed to a dock. WE HAVE AN ESTIMATE FOR RAISING HER GENTLY (SALVAGE), MOVING HER ASHORE, DRYING HER OUT CAREFULLY TO KEEP HER INTACT, AND TRANSPORTING HER TO A SHIPYARD FOR RESTORATION: $87,000.  THE FULL AMOUNT MUST BE IN HAND BEFORE SALVAGE CAN BE SCHEDULED. ABOUT 1/3RD OF THIS AMOUNT HAS BEEN RECEIVED IN DONATIONS!

3.  We have to decide on a shipyard for the reconstruction. Golden Rule was restored at Zerlang and Zerlang’s shipyard in Eureka, CA. Zerlang’s gave Golden Rule free parking for the 5 years it took to restore her. (She also had LOTS of volunteer labor.) But Leroy Zerlang isn’t inclined to start another huge project like that with the Phoenix. THE BEST CHOICE FOR RESTORATION IS SHIPWRIGHTS CO-OP IN PORT TOWNSEND, WASHINGTON. THEY DO NOTHING BUT RESTORE HISTORIC WOODEN SHIPS–AND THEY ARE READY AND WILLING TO START THE RESTORATION OF THE PHOENIX. THEY EXPECT THE WORK WILL TAKE TWO YEARS AND COST FROM $500,000 TO $1 MILLION.

4. We have to provide physical plans of the boat for the shipyard. This will be easy. We have copies of the plans of the boat, not the original plans but plans Tomas Daly had drawn up when he bought her from Dad in 1972 or ’73. He did a massive restoration at that time. (I think he paid $20,000 for the boat and spent $45,000 on the restoration.) Originally the boat had a cockpit way aft with a tiller. Later Dad put in a wheelhouse farther forward.

Also, my mom took slides of every stage of the building of the Phoenix and Jerry has digitalized those slides. Every step of the original process was done BY HAND. You can read about it at http://phoenixofhiroshima.blogspot.com/2016/06/phoenix-time-place-and-loved-one-1st-of.html and in the first installment of Dad’s article in the Saturday Evening Post, “We Crossed the Pacific the Hard Way” at http://phoenixofhiroshima.blogspot.com/2016/06/legible-text-part-1-we-crossed-pacific.html

So it should be pretty straightforward to get the boat restored. Of course Ted and I remember what the layout was like below decks and can give input. We also have some photos of the galley, the main cabin, etc. (Written by Jessica Reynolds Renshaw)