A New Boiler for SABINO

The Museum's 1908 steamboat SABINO will return to operation in 2017.
Steamboat SABINO
Steamboat SABINO moments after her launch in the Shipyard July 27, 2016. Note that her pilothouse and canopy will not be installed until after the new boiler and engine are in place.

Mystic Seaport is very pleased to announce the steamboat Sabino will return to operation in 2017. The vessel is a National Historic Landmark and is one of the last coal-fired operating steamboats in the country.

Sabino has been undergoing restoration in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard since December 2014. This was a major project intended to enable her to continue her role as an operating exhibit for the next 25-30 years or more. The Shipyard addressed issues with her hull and numerous mechanical and systems upgrades. A number of frames and her keel bolts were replaced, some new planking installed, and general restoration and preservation work was carried out throughout the vessel.

The majority of Sabino’s restoration was completed in mid-summer 2016 and she was launched back into the water. However, the vessel needed a new boiler and additional time and funds were required to have one designed, fabricated, and installed.

SABINO's Almy Boiler
SABINO’s Almy water-tube boiler on display in the Thompson Building lobby.

Thanks to the philanthropic support of numerous parties the funds were raised, and the Shipyard was able to identify and contract specialized vendors to do the work. The design was recently approved by the US Coast Guard and construction will begin shortly. The goal is to have Sabino back in operation for her usual seasonal run in 2017.

Sabino‘s old boiler was installed around 1940. It was manufactured by the Almy Water-Tube Boiler Company of Providence, RI. It was the vessel’s third one since she was first launched in 1908 and powered the steamboat for nearly three-quarters of her life on the water, including during passenger service in Maine, a private attraction in Massachusetts, and finally more than forty years on the Mystic River. It has now been placed on display in the lobby of the Thompson Exhibition Building.

Sabino will continue to be powered by her original 1908 two-cylinder expansion engine that was manufactured by J. H. Payne & Son in nearby Noank, CT.

For additional information on the restoration, please read the Shipyard Blog.