San Salvador replica set to move Wednesday

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SAN DIEGO — Crews with the Maritime Museum of San Diego had hoped to put their handcrafted $6 million replica ship San Salvador into the water over the weekend, but record rainfall delayed their launch.

They’ll give it another try early Wednesday morning.

“This weekend we lost a couple of days to weather. Then today, we were ready to do it this morning and had a technical glitch with the hydraulic systems,” said Salvador project manager Mark Montijo on Tuesday.

Volunteers and crew members have been building the boat for four years and have continually faced setbacks - from materials, not enough workers, to the ship weighing 20 tons more than they estimated. The weight of the ship was too heavy for the biggest crane.

They regrouped and developed a new plan to put the ship on a giant trailer and then onto a barge.

The San Salvador will dock at the Marine Boat Group in Chula Vista.

The ship is a replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flagship San Salvador, which entered San Diego Bay in 1542. It marked the first European contact with the territory of what would become the west coast of the United States.

Work is not over yet. Crews have some final touches on the interior. She’ll have her big coming out party to the public in September. The new San Salvador will be available for daily public viewing and will sail around California’s coast a few times a year.

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