Discovery World's wooden schooner ship will not sail for 3rd year due to staffing shortages

NOW: Discovery World’s wooden schooner ship will not sail for 3rd year due to staffing shortages

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Discovery World's wooden schooner ship named "Denis Sullivan" will not sail this year. The large classroom ship will remain anchored for a third year in a row. 

"If you come by the dock at Discovery World, the Denis Sullivan is on the water. But that's as far as it will go; it will not leave the dock this year as it has no captain or crew," said President and CEO of Discovery World, Bryan Wunar. 

A tarp covers the boat.

CBS 58 Reporter Amanda Becker: "I know the ship wont' sail this year but will people be able to board it?"

Wunar: "As of right now, we're not able to bring anyone on board." 

President and CEO of Discovery World, Bryan Wunar, says they've been looking for a new captain for eight months with no luck. 

"There are many vessels right now that are searching for a captain and crew members. So that is something we're not alone," said Wunar. 

COVID shut down the vessel just weeks before the 20th season was scheduled to begin. The ship's longtime captain said goodbye to her piers as she was laid off by Discovery World as part of budget cuts. Tiffany Krihwan was the ship's captain for 12 years. 

"A captain or a master with 100% vessel certification," said Wunar. 

In addition to a captain, Wunar says the person they hire will need to interact with all who board the vessel and teach them about it. As the hiring process stalls, Discovery World leaders will meet with "Tall Ships America" to learn about how they can be more progressive with their operations.

"We want to reach out to some of the other local organizations that are focusing on things like maritime history and marine education," said Wnar. 

While it's been docked for the last couple of years, they've been able to take care of a lot of deferred maintenance. The cost of the ship to sit at the dock is $70,000, about a third of the cost to sail it for a season. 

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