Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Logo; Click to return to our Home Page.

New Mast for Schooner Lois McClure Takes Shape at ECHO


Contact: Eloise Beil, Community Relations Manager
(802) 475-2022

BURLINGTON, VT -- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has teamed up with ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center to showcase the transformation of a 42 foot spruce log into a soaring mast for replica 1862 schooner Lois McClure.  During ECHO Earth Week’s Mud Fest, which is happening now through Sunday, April 24, LCMM interpreters will be on hand to describe the process used by boat builder Rob Thompson as he takes the timber from square to round.

LCMM boatbuilder Rob Thompson shapes a new mast for Lois McClure at ECHO.
LCMM boatbuilder Rob Thompson shapes a new mast
for Lois McClure at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center.
Image courtesy of ECHO. Click on the photo for a high-res file.

"As with the construction of Schooner Lois McClure, we have great partners for every step of the mast project," said LCMM Director Art Cohn. Joel Currier, a sustainable forester from Danville, VT, guided LCMM’s schooner captain, Erick Tichonuk, to select the locally grown tree. Currier Forest Products squared the timber, and it was delivered to the Burlington shipyard at LCT where Thompson further refined it to an eight-sided “stick,” which was moved to ECHO on Friday morning. Thompson will put the finishing touches onto the new mast during the ten-day demonstration, using a process largely unchanged from the nineteenth century.

Schooner Lois McClure, a full sized replica of an 1862 sailing canal boat, was constructed in Burlington by LCMM staff and community volunteers and launched in 2004. Each summer, she visits ports on Lake Champlain and other historic waterways as a living history lesson and ambassador for Vermont. The new mast and rigging will be in place by May, in time for the schooner to embark on her 2011 season. She be back on the Burlington waterfront for the July 4 weekend and the first two weeks of August. Her itinerary and Ship’s (B)Log can be found on For more about ECHO Earth Week’s Mud Fest visit


To see the mast take shape:

Visit ECHO on the Burlington Waterfront
April 19 - April 24, 2011
10am - 5pm On the Deck


Stay in touch with LCMM:
Find out more at LCMM's Calendar of Events , on Facebook, YouTube, and our Blog.