Steering the Star From Port

San Diego's waterfront is without one of its main attractions, but not for long.

The Star of India, the flagship of the San Diego Maritime Museum, is weighing anchor and heading south to dry dock in the South Bay. People were down at the Embarcadero Tuesday morning snapping pictures and watching the ship leave it's familiar post. Former NBA player Bill Walton was just one of the admirers who stopped to watch the ship drift away. 

"It's just a great San Diego icon and treasure and to be able to come down early in the morning to the waterfront and see everybody working to keep it going. It's a great day for San Diego," said Walton.

The star of the local waterfront gets a makeover every 10 years. Its routine maintenance, like scraping the bottom clean of all the marine life that's attached to it over the years.

"It's going to the boating yard to get a new bottom, I believe. I wish they'd do the same for me." joked Walton.

It will be dry-docked at BAE systems in Chula Vista to get the work done, and plans are to have it back in the water in a few weeks, according to Scott Baldwin, Director of Marine Operations.

Besides the boat's bottom, a new ceramic coating will be added to the hull, with the hopes of making it last for many more years. 

Sprucing up the 145-year old tall ship (the oldest active sailing vessel in the world, according to Maritime officials) costs a quarter of a million dollars. Because of this, the Maritime Museum says the Star of India will miss its annual sail in November. The checkup will handle any needed repair, something that is required by the U. S. Coast Guard to insure the Star remains seaworthy.

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