In April we shared the sad news that The Water Table’s boat, the Revolution, was hit by a large tugboat, forcing them to postpone their scheduled dinner cruises. Since then, there have been even more setbacks.
Kelli Farwell, the Revolution’s captain and co-owner of The Water Table, said their boat was t-boned by an incoming tugboat while undergoing a routine Coast Guard inspection. The whole structure of the boat would have to be rebuilt.
The following two months were an uphill battle as The Water Table dealt with the damages and other parties involved. “I’m up for a good fight, but when you’ve got multiple people pushing you in the corner and assuming because you’re a woman you don’t know anything, it just wears on you,” Farwell said. “Two months of that. Every day.”
Farwell said the Coast Guard “really worked with me as far as assessing what repairs would need to be done.” Ultimately, however, she and her co-owner, first mate and wife Sue Walsh, decided to forgo making repairs to the Revolution since it would have cost about $100,000 to fix, much more than the initial $31,000 it cost to buy the 70-year-old wooden boat.
Instead, they’re looking for a new vessel. To meet the Revolution’s standards, it would have to be a military boat that has been converted to passenger use and, Farwell said, “it has to be historic. It has to be unique. It has to have its own spirit.” Farwell is already working on preserving the spirit of the Revolution too. She has taken out all the benches, dishes, artwork and even the porthole window and steering wheel to use in the next boat.
Finding a new boat has been difficult so far. Most of the ones that fit the bill are from the Pacific Northwest and would have to be brought in through the Panama Canal. Not to mention the cost of a new boat.
Farwell said they’re considering crowdfunding. In 2013 when they started The Water Table, they raised nearly $27,000 on Indiegogo for the Revolution. “We feel like the community really enabled us to buy the boat,” she said. “It was always about, for us, trying to make people happy and give back to them and show them that it was a good investment.”
Since the announcement of The Water Table’s closing for 2017 and the retirement of the Revolution, there’s been an outpouring of support online and in person, which Farwell said made these past few months easier to bear. Denise Campono commented on their Instagram post, “We had so many great sails upon The Revolution. Thank you for your vision, your hard work, the great food and drink, and all that you gave NY.”
Though she’s not completely sure what will happen next, Farwell remains optimistic. “One thing about the Revolution and The Water Table is we have been up against it so many times for so many reasons,” she said. “It seems like we’re at our best when the odds are against us. So in some ways we’re in really good shape right now.”