Stormy Seas: Navy Yard Tall Ship Restaurant Hits Iceberg

No sooner had the Caledonia tall ship arrived in Boston than it began to find a hole in its plan.

The tall ship restaurant and lighting activation proposal had been championed by a team of Navy Yard businessmen, and won a license from the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) to start operating from May to October this year as part of an activation plan.

For more than a week, the ship sat adjacent to its owners restaurant on Pier 6.

Now, it has headed off to East Boston for construction.

But once that’s completed, the ship seemingly has nowhere to go – and there aren’t any parking meters as of yet in Boston for a 245-foot sailing ship.

On Tuesday, the BPDA said the ship is still licensed through them, but unfortunately doesn’t have the proper licenses to enter Dry Dock 2 – which was supposed to be its new home.

“We are aware that the tall ship, planned to be converted into a floating restaurant at Dry Dock 2 with a connection to Shipyard Park, was recently docked adjacent to Pier 6,” read a statement from the BPDA. “At this time, the ship does not have the necessary licensing agreement, permits, and construction complete to move into Dry Dock 2. We remain hopeful that these necessary steps will be taken so that the restaurant will be able to move to the agreed upon location this summer.

“The BPDA has no role in regulating the ship’s location next to Pier 6, and to operate a restaurant at that location would require approval from the Coast Guard and/or the City of Boston Licensing Board,” continued the statement. “The Tall Ship is owned by the same owner as the Pier 6 Restaurant, and we understand that the owner is considering a change to his business plan that might have it remain at Pier 6 for the summer.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard informed its members that there would be a meeting to discuss plans to “operate the Caledonia tall ship as a restaurant at Pier 6.”

The meeting will be June 19 at 6 p.m. on Pier 6.

In other Navy Yard activation news:

•The USS Constitution Museum received approval and a grant from the BPDA to install interpretive historical exhibits around Dry Dock 2 this summer. These are being designed now and should be installed in the coming weeks.  

•The BPDA expects to release a Request For Proposals (RFP) later this month, requesting detailed proposals for public waterborne activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and/or paddleboarding. Based on the proposals received, the BPDA hopes to issue a license this summer, with the option to extend the license for a full season in subsequent years.

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