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Old 05-07-2019, 07:44 AM   #1
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Default Sophie C...

Do we get the Mail Boat back this year?
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:47 AM   #2
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Default High and Dry

In late March, we drove through Center Harbor on our home from a visit in the area. We stopped to check on the Mount in her winter berth. On the marine way next to her rested the Sophie C. Her upper structure was covered, but her bare bottom was visible, and without paint. Would be surprised if we see her delivering mail to East Bear Island this season. 🐻
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:58 AM   #3
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Had to run to the hardware store in Center Harbor this past weekend, by boat of course, and yeah the Sophie C is still out of the water. I didn't go over to take a look to see if there was any activity.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:01 PM   #4
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I was just told by the owner that the Doris E. will again fill in on the mail run this year (2019) while they decide what to do about the extensive work needed to get the Sophie C. back into service.

Here she is in better days:

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Old 05-07-2019, 07:20 PM   #5
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Thatís terrible news. She is a big part of the lake and lake history.

Did it just sit in dry dock last year ? I thought they were working on it or while repairing did they find additional issues?


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Old 05-07-2019, 07:46 PM   #6
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A curiosity question; Does USPS Postage Stamp Revenue pay for the maintenance and operation of the Sophie C ?
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimeTraveler View Post
A curiosity question; Does USPS Postage Stamp Revenue pay for the maintenance and operation of the Sophie C ?
No is the short answer.
The Post Office does not own any boats.

in this situation the moving of the mail is a contract with a private transportation company. The maintenance of said vehicles is the responsibility of the private contractor. Anyone can bid on the contract. Go for it !
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:21 AM   #8
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If they set up a go-fund me page that includes a mailing address for mailing a check, probably a lot of different people could mail them small checks like 10-20-25 dollars ..... just to help out?

Wouldn't you mail in ten dollars to help repair and fix the leaky steel hull on the 70' long, 70+ year old, World War II era, Sophie C, mail and cruise boat?

Probably, just needs a sheet of pressure treated plywood and a gallon of Bondo, and it is good to go!
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:34 AM   #9
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Default Save the Sophie C...

I'd donate. I hate to see a bit of nostalgia gone forever.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
If they set up a go-fund me page that includes a mailing address for mailing a check, probably a lot of different people could mail them small checks like 10-20-25 dollars ..... just to help out?

Wouldn't you mail in ten dollars to help repair and fix the leaky steel hull on the 70' long, 70+ year old, World War II era, Sophie C, mail and cruise boat?

Probably, just needs a sheet of pressure treated plywood and a gallon of Bondo, and it is good to go!
Nah about 30,000 rattle cans of flex seal. Fixes that pesky leaking floor made of a screen door so it would fix ANYTHING!

It's on TV and the Internet so it has to be true.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
I'd donate. I hate to see a bit of nostalgia gone forever.
Agreed. But I wonder if there is enough market at the Weirs. There used to be, in addition to the Sophie C , 8 Miss Winnipesaukee speedboats, the Uncle Sam(s), several "Foxy" boats and rental boats. As each of these aged out, the market wasn't there to make replacement worthwhile. So many people now own their own boats, a scenic tour isn't as unique as it once was.
On the other hand, recall the Sophie's original mission was to shuttle from the Weirs to Wolfeboro before the Mount's engines were replaced after the war. I wonder if there is a market for a shuttle from Meredith to Wolfeboro? Meredith and Wolfeboro are now the leading destinations, are they not?
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimeTraveler View Post
A curiosity question; Does USPS Postage Stamp Revenue pay for the maintenance and operation of the Sophie C ?
Well, sort of. Postage pays for the delivery contract and out of that the contractor has to pay maintenance.


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Old 05-08-2019, 03:25 PM   #13
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Does anyone have any details on exactly what they are finding wrong with the M/V Sophie C.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
Does anyone have any details on exactly what they are finding wrong with the M/V Sophie C.
Found the answer to my own question:

https://cruisenh.com/blogs/news/what...h-the-sophie-c
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimeTraveler View Post
A curiosity question; Does USPS Postage Stamp Revenue pay for the maintenance and operation of the Sophie C ?
The short and long answer.

Sophie C is a "for profit" vessel, same as the MS Mount Washington. Both charge passengers to board and ride.

The difference is that Sophie C also contracts with the USPS (They get paid to deliver mail). So their model is a 2 hour cruise that customers pay for ($28 PP), plus they get federal monies for delivering mail to a few people along the way.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:00 AM   #16
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Do they get additional funding because they are a US post office?


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Old 05-09-2019, 08:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real BigGuy View Post
Do they get additional funding because they are a US post office?


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No it is a contract with the USPS that they have to bid for each time the contract expires. So they receive just the contract price and no additional fund. I am also sure they are the only company bidding on the contract.


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Old 05-09-2019, 11:50 AM   #18
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Is there enough mail being delivered on the lake where a boat that size is required?

Also, the cost to repair the hull....fair to say it ends up a 6-figure proposition?

As far as hull integrity, what would be used in order to obtain the condition of the hull? Is this a density measurement technology being used or some other method?


I find it is such a curious thing to see that boat dry docked however it has definitely sparked wonder and a few great conversations with my daughter.
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Richard View Post
Is there enough mail being delivered on the lake where a boat that size is required?

Also, the cost to repair the hull....fair to say it ends up a 6-figure proposition?

As far as hull integrity, what would be used in order to obtain the condition of the hull? Is this a density measurement technology being used or some other method?


I find it is such a curious thing to see that boat dry docked however it has definitely sparked wonder and a few great conversations with my daughter.
Remember the USPS contract is not the only source of revenue for the Sophie C. I do not know the percentages but at 28.00 per person the passenger fees bring in significant revenue in season and mail is also only delivered in season. I am sure the route makes some money otherwise it would not have been delivering mail for the past 73 years.

Usually sound, heat and stress tests are typically used to measure the density of a steel hull for integrity.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:21 AM   #20
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:36 AM   #21
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....apparently ..... look'n at the photo .... all the old paint probably got sand blasted off ..... looks just like a ship repair yard in Louisiana or someplace.

Will the Sophe C get sold off for junk steel or will it be up and doing the mail, again?
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:36 AM   #22
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This makes me very sad. I always love the Sophie C !!!!!
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
Do we get the Mail Boat back this year?
Yes you will.

LACONIA ó On June 15, the M/V Doris E. will begin delivering mail to many islands on the big lake. This will mark the 128th year of continuous mail service on Lake Winnipesaukee.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/comm...cf45be132.html
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:14 AM   #24
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Default No mention of the Sophie C...

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Yes you will.

LACONIA ó On June 15, the M/V Doris E. will begin delivering mail to many islands on the big lake. This will mark the 128th year of continuous mail service on Lake Winnipesaukee.

https://www.laconiadailysun.com/comm...cf45be132.html
This article doesn't even mention the Sophie C. I think the news isn't that a 128 tradition continues, but that it seems a tradition has been discontinued...R.I.P. Sophie C?
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:45 PM   #25
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I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that the Sophie C. is on its way to Davey Jone's locker. Repairing the hull is likely to be a major undertaking, and the company needs to find the right contractor to bid on the work. Probably not an easy task, especially where the boat is so far inland.

When they pulled her on the dry dock and stripped the paint, I figured something long term was about to happen. I would expect that by the end of this season, the fate of the Sophie C. will be known. If she is to get back into the water, it might still be another year or two.....
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:10 PM   #26
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Lightbulb Watch the Towns Fight for Sophie C...

Quote:
Originally Posted by garysanfran View Post
This article doesn't even mention the Sophie C. I think the news isn't that a 128 tradition continues, but that it seems a tradition has been discontinued...R.I.P. Sophie C?
Fish like structure.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:28 AM   #27
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Default Doris has a new canopy

I like the new canopy on the Doris. My wife took the kids out on the Sophie years ago and I passed because I dont like that much sun. With the new canopy you can still enjoy the ride from on top but you get some shade. If you like sun you can sit in the bow. Nice upgrade.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:48 PM   #28
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SAVE the Sophie C.!!!

We need to keep supporting the effort to repair her and bring her back to the lake!!
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:30 AM   #29
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Quick little update here. Supposedly repairs have started on the Sophie and it is "estimated" to be back in service next season. However, I would take anything you hear with a grain of salt unless its from the companies newsletter.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:26 PM   #30
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Default Yes

So this latest post gave me an excuse to jump in the boat and have a nice early morning ride to Center Harbor. There is indeed work being done on the Sophie. Will post pics a bit later.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:16 PM   #31
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https://www.wmur.com/article/wednesd...ffice/28591927

FYI, Tonight at 7PM
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:16 AM   #32
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Default Sophie expected to be back in water this year

From the captain of the Doris, the Sophie is expected to be repaired by September and refloated for trials. Fully back in service next year.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:17 AM   #33
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Default Doris E Stars

There was a nice story about the Doris E as a mail boat on NH Chronicle WMUR Channel 9 last evening. Bear Island was featured on this interesting piece, including the East Bear Island location where the mail bag hangs on a private dock. The historic post office at North Bear was also featured, where adults, kids, and dogs pick up treats. 🐻
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:18 PM   #34
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Yay! I will love seeing the Sophie C again on the Lake! And hearing itís horn.
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:24 PM   #35
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Default Sophie C back on the water?

I heard a rumor that the Sophie C is back in business, and back on the water. Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:58 PM   #36
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Inaccurate rumor unless it was magically fixed, painted and launched in the past 4 days. As of last weekend it was still sitting there in dry dock as previously pictured.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:30 PM   #37
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Default No Miracles here!

7:30 Thursday Night.

She just needs a light buff out and good to go!
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:03 PM   #38
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Default Really?

Wait a minute. That's Dan's line. No plagiarism here, please.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:18 AM   #39
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Quote:
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Inaccurate rumor unless it was magically fixed, painted and launched in the past 4 days. As of last weekend it was still sitting there in dry dock as previously pictured.
I am not sure I would expect to see here painted before she get dipped in the lake for a soak test...... I would think, that once they believe all the issues have been addressed, they will slip her into the water, and tie her to the dock for a few days, (maybe even start the engines), and then pull her back out to paint and finish her up....

With all that said, I don't expected given the nature of the work, for us to see M/V Sophie C going around the lake until next summer. She has been undergoing major work, and has been sitting for some time.... she needs to be gently brought back to life......
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:40 PM   #40
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Quote:
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7:30 Thursday Night.

She just needs a light buff out and good to go!
Un-less I'm seeing things she just got painted. Not sure if she will be taken off the dry dock and be relaunched this year.

No camera this weekend, sorry no photos.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:51 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIforrelaxin View Post
I am not sure I would expect to see here painted before she get dipped in the lake for a soak test...... I would think, that once they believe all the issues have been addressed, they will slip her into the water, and tie her to the dock for a few days, (maybe even start the engines), and then pull her back out to paint and finish her up....

With all that said, I don't expected given the nature of the work, for us to see M/V Sophie C going around the lake until next summer. She has been undergoing major work, and has been sitting for some time.... she needs to be gently brought back to life......
They did an air test by pressurizing the hull. There is an air tight hatch.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:29 PM   #42
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Went by there Saturday and the bottom has fresh paint which is a good sign for a spring launch.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:04 PM   #43
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Quote:
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Went by there Saturday and the bottom has fresh paint which is a good sign for a spring launch.

Thanks for confirming what I had already seen. She's almost as good as new. However ?? Where do they normally store the Sophie C for the winter??
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:59 PM   #44
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Usually it sits in center harbor right by the Mount. I doubt they will splash her this late in the year.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:59 PM   #45
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Default drydock rotation

Nowadays, There seems to be a service rotation through the drydock, with the remaining two boats in the water. I recall some decades ago seeing both the Sophie and the Doris on the drydock at the same time, but it was so long ago, it could have been the General, not the Doris.
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:58 PM   #46
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Default Boat Parade

Some years, the Sophie C, the Doris E, and the M/V Bear II from Camp Lawrence would share the marine way during the off-season.
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:25 PM   #47
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Anyone know when the Mount will go into dry dock? I heard somewhere it usually goes into dry dock every five years. Canít remember when it was out last.
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:10 PM   #48
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Default Four's a Crowd

With the Sophie C still on the marine way, the Mount will probably enjoy the crisp waters of the lake this winter. ❄️
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