A look at IYRS -- 02/26/11

Yesterday I told you how Nancy and I drove over to Newport and took one of the walking tours offered by Doris Duke's Newport Restoration Foundation. I mentioned that we ended our tour at the International Yacht Restoration School and said I would try to show you some pictures of IYRS today. (The schools initials are pronounced as "Iris" and if I had combined the history tour with our explorations of the school, I simply would not have been able to avoid the temptation to title the entry "A day with Doris and IYRS.")

The school is involved in a multi-year project to perform a complete overhaul of the vintage sailing ship, the Coronet (Wikipedia says " The Coronet, a wooden-hull schooner yacht built in 1885, is one of the oldest and largest schooner yachts in the world.")

How big is it? Look at the lower left corner of the picture. That is a guy standing there. It is huge. We got to walk all the way around the upper level of the building, looking at the ship and seeing the restoration work. This is an awesome project and it is incredible that they are so open in allowing the public to view the progress.

The ship is really a floating mansion with hand-carved mahogany walls (excuse me, I mean bulkheads) and furniture. Examples of some of the interior, including cabinets, washbasins, and a piano, were stored on the upper walkway (on the opposite side of this workroom), near where Nancy took my picture yesterday next to a life preserver from the ship. The Museum of Yachting (at Newport's Fort Adams State Park) has a restored cabin from the Coronet on display and I think will need to check that out this summer (the museum is closed for the winter).

This is a view of part of the Newport campus, a restored 1831 mill building (which, I believe, has offices and the school library, etc.). The building at the right is also an IYRS building (and the rest of these photographs were taken in that building).

Two different views of the same very large classroom work area.

To give you some idea of the scale of this room, those are very large doorways. Those small hulls are individual student projects -- Beetle Cat class sailboats (12 foot gaff-rigged wood sailboats). Or, just take a look at the picture on the right showing someone next to a boat hull and a set of doors (which are smaller than the glass doors near the far end of the room).

I do not know what the larger hull is. It was winter break week at IYRS so we were just wandering around with our history tour guide (who was not a sailor).

The final two photographs are of classrooms. The student desks in the first one are really quite wide tables in order to hold the ship blueprints that are on them. These rooms are on the second floor; the backs of these rooms open onto a corridor that runs the full width of the building and the other side of the corridor really a balcony overlooking the big workroom with the Beetle Cat hulls.

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