April 02, 2010

Chula Vista Press Releases

Chula Vista Boatyard Receives “Surprise” Visit

Marine Group Boat Works To Repair, Perform Maintenance on Maritime Museum’s HMS Surprise, Featured in Master and Commander: Far Side of the World

surprise visit(Chula Vista, Calif., April 2, 2010): San Diego Maritime Museum’s HMS Surprise, a 179-foot replica of the 18th century 24-gun British Royal Navy frigate, recently docked at Marine Group Boat Works for routine maintenance in preparation for an inspection by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

Once featured in the academy award-winning film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World with Russell Crowe, HMS Surprise was hauled out on the morning of March 29, 2010 for about a three-week repair process. With her vast hull, HMS Surprise tipped the scales at 1.1 million pounds, which makes her the second largest single load to be hauled by Marine Group Boat Works’ 665-ton travelift.

“When you’re putting a historic ship with masts extending greater than 170 feet high in the slings of a sixstory modern crane, it commands attention,” said George Sutherland, project manager at Marine Group Boat Works who has also been a volunteer, employee and captain for vessels at the Maritime Museum since 1993. “We dedicated a full day to her haul-out to allow ample time for lift operators, riggers and other specialty tradesmen to get her safely drydocked.”

The HMS Surprise scope of work will include, but will not be limited to; bottom and top-side paint, and repairs to hull fasteners, planks and rudder. This delicate vessel will be out of the water for no more than two to four weeks in order to prevent damage caused by the drying out of her wooden hull. At the same time the vessel will undergo ABS and USCG inspections to certify her safety and seaworthiness. Swift repairs will also minimize the time HMS Surprise is away from her central home at the San Diego Maritime Museum.

During her stay at Marine Group Boat Works, tours of the HMS Surprise will be offered to local student and Chula Vista organizations.

HMS Surprise is a valuable part of the San Diego Maritime Museum’s mission to educate,” said Sutherland. “We plan to carry out the mission during the tours by talking about the importance of wooden hull preservation and how a repair process can impact the local economy.”

As the only boatyard on the West Coast capable of hauling vessels up to 220 feet, Marine Group Boat Works repairs many of the vessels in the San Diego Maritime Museum fleet including the Californian and Medea. This will be the HMS Surprise’s second visit to Marine Group Boat Works. The first appearance was in 2007 for routine maintenance. While she was getting work done, she was also featured on The History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” on a segment showcasing Marine Group Boat Works as having the largest travelift in the nation at that time.

To view the Port of San Diego’s video of the haul-out of the HMS Surprise, visit

For more information, visit or

Download Article

Share + Next

Similar Posts