Rockland youth boating group receives early holiday gift from the Big Apple Stephen BettsDecember 24, 2021

Mayor Ed Glasser

ROCKLAND — A Rockland-based organization that teaches maritime skills to young people received a new boat thanks to Manhattan boatbuilders.

The gift boat, a Whitehall Gig, is a model of the traditional four-oared 19th century boat used to ferry ship captains from their moorings to land, according to an account in a Manhattan neighborhood paper “Our Town.”

The Manhattan organization, Village Community Boat House, offers free rowing from Pier 40 in Hudson River Park. In the winter, the boathouse stays open so its skilled boatbuilders can teach the craft to others for free, according to Our Town. This year the builders realized they needed to make more room in the boathouse before they could build another boat. So, they decided to donate a vessel to some worthy seafarers.

Some of the people associated with the Village Community Boat House visited Rockland and were familiar with Station Maine, which teaches young people how to sail and row in Rockland Harbor. The Manhattan organization contacted Station Maine and agreed to donate the boat to the Rockland organization led by Muriel Curtis.

Ed Glaser of Rockland agreed to volunteer his services and haul the boat back to Rockland.

Village Community did an internet search and when its members realized the volunteer driver was also Rockland’s mayor, they organized an informal ceremony on Dec. 19. The group tried to persuade the New York City mayor to attend, but were not successful.

According to Our Town, Boathouse President Sally Curtis said “We’re like a family that has to give away a beloved pet. We wanted to be sure it would be well cared for and used to help folks, especially young people, get out on the water.”

Curtis posted on Station Maine’s Facebook page about the donation of the 25-foot long boat.

“These are amazing, stable little boats that have been seen in New York Harbor for more than a century. We are so fortunate to have good neighbors to the south who think of us and offer us their support. We’re also grateful to Ed Glaser for hauling GML (yes, that’s her name) all the way from New York City.”

Station Maine teaches maritime skills such as sailing and rowing at no cost to the participants.

Glaser is a captain, and served as harbor master for Rockland for 12 years before he was elected to the City Council.

The boat arrived in Rockland on Dec. 20.

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