WaterFire will be welcoming a new vessel to its fleet later this season, but first it will say goodbye to an old friend. After 18 years of service, Athena, one of WaterFire’s original boats, has been retired because she is no longer safe and reliable, according to WaterFire’s Facebook page.
“Athena served as a work boat that was used during the yearly installation of all of the braziers and their anchors in the river,” said WaterFire’s interactive media manager Tim Blankenship.
“Athena does everything,” said Elvis Custodio, WaterFire’s production manager. “It’s our little workhorse.”
“We raised about $4,700 (after Kickstarter’s commissions and fees), which is a little less than half of the actual cost to build this new boat,” Blankenship said.
Custodio and other WaterFire staff members and volunteers are very grateful for all the support WaterFire received in this campaign, he said. “If we didn’t get this campaign we would just be patching Athena.” Replacing her is emotional, Custodio said. One of his staff members is already insisting that WaterFire name the new boat Athena, but right now, Custodio is primarily focused on completing the new purchase before August and September, two of WaterFire’s busiest months.