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Aurora Restoration Project Part 1
by Christopher Wilson

main deck

This is the main deck of the Aurora / Wappen von Hamburg as it appeared summer before last. We were in the stages of removing old rotted deck planks in order to get to the steel so we could make repairs as needed. This deck has come a long way since this image was taken.

When I found this ship in 2008 she was very close to being sold for scrap. She was extremely neglected and was certainly an eye sore to view. She was full of trash and I don't just mean a little here and there. I pulled single handed a total of 17 15ft Uhaul loads of trash from just the A and B decks alone. The decks had leaked for years destroying many areas of the interior. She was a sad ship with lots of sad stories. After my first viewing of this ship I almost walked away. She was far to large of a project for my budget.

This ship weighed heavy on my mind for a couple of weeks after I had first seen her. She had beautiful lines but needed so much work. I was not a ship guy. I had many skills that fit into this project but had never even been or worked on a ship of this size. What do I do first? Really I had no idea. This ship was inches from being sold for scrap and this was so far out of my comfort level.

At the time I rented a normal sized house and made an average income. I was not a rich guy looking for a yacht project by any means. Owning a ship never even came to mind. But something drew me to her. Something I can't explain in words.

I started researching this ship online and found that she had massive historical significance on multiple levels. There was no shortness of information about her out there. Possibly one of the most documented ships in the world. I knew it was time to take action.

Have you ever had a time in your life that you were about to risk everything on something that you knew nothing about? This was that time. I had to jump in with both feet or not at all. Something kept telling me this was the right thing to do and amazingly enough I felt calm and motivated.

I may have had an average job and and average income but my skill set was not so average. It was time to put my talents to work to save this ship..............

......more to come

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