The Launch of "Discovery" - Early August 1992

With the actual operation of the batteau only a couple weeks away, "Discovery" was trucked to the launch site, a few miles west on the Mohawk River/Barge Canal at Lock 9 in Rotterdam Junction.

A Canal Corporation (NYS Thruway Authority) scow with a crane was standing by, and carefully lifted the boat off the truck and lowered it, for the first time, into the Mohawk River.

This was the beginning of three years of actual waterway navigation for the boat, created by the State Museum months before, and it was the first opportunity for the crew to test both the design and operations of a boat the like of which had not been seen in this river in nearly two hundred years.

Click on any image to enlarge
Trucking the batteau to the river Having been rolled out of the exhibit space inside the Schenectady Museum, the batteau "Discovery"is secured on the truck that will take it a few miles to the launch site at Lock 9 on the Mohawk River.
Lifting the boat of the truck Riggers working with the Canal Corporation scow a Lock 9 secure the lifting cables and prepare to move the batteau off the truck.
Preparing to lift the boat to the river Having been lifted off the truck that brought it here to the riverside, "Discovery" is set down briefly in preparation for the final operation to launch it into the river.
Moving the boat The final lifting, to place the boat into the Mohawk River, is begun, watched over by crew and Canal Corporation staff.
Ready to lower into the water The crane has brought the boat clear of the riverbank and prepares to set it into the water beside the Thruway Authority scow.
The batteau enters the river Touchdown! "Discovery" makes first contact with the medium in which it will operate for the next four years.
The launch is complete A successful launch - 1992 style. Traditionally, finished batteaux built on the Schenectady waterfront would have been slid down the riverbank on rollers.
Lord steps into the boat Project Coordinator Phil Lord steps into the batteau "Discovery" to take possession of what is now a fully functional river boat.
The crew takes over the boat Taking control of their vessel for the first time, the crew prepares to drive the boat to the temporary landing site at Lock 9, a few hundred feet away.
Driving the boat around the pier Now underway for the first time completely on its own, "Discovery" is maneuvered around the Canal Corporation scow and past the concrete pier to approach its temporary landing site at Lock 9.


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