To the Editor:
Re “Historic Steamboat at Mystic Seaport to Cruise on Diesel Electric Power,” by Cate Hewitt (Jan. 25):
The arguments extended by the spokesperson of the Mystic Seaport Museum regarding the “electrification” of the historic steamboat Sabino are fine examples of prevarication. The modernization of the Sabino fits in with the ongoing homogenization of what was once a museum of the sea; the closing of the art gallery, the evisceration of the bookstore and turning what was once a historic venue into another bland attraction.
A few years ago I skippered the Sabino. I was able to do so under an existing Masters License, without previous steamboat experience. The Coast Guard recognizes the professionalism of licensed Masters; licenses are issued by tonnage of a particular vessel and passenger capacity. As far as steam engineers; this is a profession where licenses are granted upon experience and apprenticeship. There are plenty of steam engineers available; the Seaport didn’t bother to look as keeping the Sabino, or the museum for that matter, in conformity with historical precedent or the vision of the museums’ founders, does not fit in with today’s profit-motivated administration.
New London, CT